Towards a Sustainable League – ISN workshop

Irish Supporters Network was founded by four Football Trusts who control their respective Airtricity League clubs, they promote the fan-owed model for operating Football Clubs and work closely with Supporters Direct Europe to further this goal.


Minutes of Irish Supporters Network workshop – Towards a Sustainable League

Tallaght Stadium, Dublin Sunday 26th March 2017

Attendance: Supporter Liaison Officers from Bohemian FC, Cliftonville, Cork City FC, Finn Harps, St. Patrick’s Athletic, Shelbourne, UCD AFC.

Representatives of supporter-owned FCs: Cork City (Foras), Galway Utd (GUST), Finn Harps Co-Op, Shelbourne 1895.

Fran Gavin SSE Airtricity League director

Ronan Evain Football Supporters Europe

Peter Madden – Shamrock Rovers

Ken McCue – Sport Against Racism in Ireland

Fran Gavin was invited to open the day and informed the room that Mr. John McGuinness [ex-goalkeeper Kilkenny City, Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, Longford Town and Athlone Town] was taking up the full-time post in the FAI Marketing Office for the League from Monday 27th March.  He also asked that stakeholders should make positive rather than negative contributions towards the league.

Niamh O’Mahony (Foras and workshop Organiser/acting CEO SDE) welcomed everyone and announced that Supporters Direct Europe had established a Supporters Alliance with registered in Dublin, because Rep. of Ireland would continue to be an EU nation and English speaking.  Sought info on a SLO handbook from Sweden and was advised that Irish SLOs should write their own for their own league.

Gavin Duffy (GUFC) and Mike Derham (CCFC) gave a presentation on financial sustainability where almost every slide (approx 20) mentioned ‘Europe’ as in qualifying for European competition.  Develop Key performance Indicators and monitor them. Regular checks incld. on Cash flow, Forecasts. A UEFA benchmark report gave Airtricity league as 3% of Income on transfers in comparison to 80% in Serbia and Croatia, 60% in Latvia.

Make income less dependent on sporting success. Infrastructure: Reduce costs, Increase gates.

During a break I asked Mike what he thought about the idea that ‘Players’ salaries was money going out of the game’ he thought that thinking isn’t used in other industries, that employees are still valued.

Dinny Deady and Alan Coughlan (SLOs Cork City FC) discussed their duties on match-day. Sometimes unpredictable crowd eg UEFA Youth League Sept 2016, 3000+ crowd for an U19 european game.  “They just kept coming and coming”.  Taking care of fans waiting on tickets from another member of their group yet to arrive.

Aidan McNelis (Finn Harps SLO) discussed an app called Mobstats which suits alot of Finn Harps/Co. Donegal Fans who live outside of the county and can’t get to games.  Fans give their own input into a game.  FHFC introduced this three years ago and at the time created their own updates for viewers to follow but Fans have access to so many resources to follow the game (eg TV, Radio, bookmaker sites, social media threads, forums) that the ticker isn’t necessary for FHFC anymore.  He presented figures of fans been engaged online and the club could present these figures to advertisers/sponsors.

Ronan Evain (Football Supporters Europe) Showed a map where the vast majority of their members were from Northern Europe. FSE support grassroots Football Fans Organisations.

Ken McCue (Information and Education Officer SARI) Presented examples of Intercultural, Integration and Equality projects. During the day he gave inputs including UEFA sent information to FAI on Clubs twinning with other European clubs.  But the idea caught on.  SSE Airtricity fund Family Areas at grounds.

Peter Madden (Shamrock Rovers) UEFA have a set transfer price for Class C & B standard academies.  The Shamrock Rovers academy at Roadstone/Kingswood hopes to benefit from player transfers to England.

Barry Worthington: Presented the online survey distributed in weeks before meeting.  A lot of leaning towards online info gathering as expected.

Organisers wished that the local contact Regional Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention be distributed. South East Dublin, Pauline O’Reilly, Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, CHO Area 6 (Dublin South East), Mental Health Division, Vergmount Hall, Clonskeagh, Dublin 6, Tel: 01-2680336, Email:  I hope to put this contact details up on UCD SC social media.

ISN minutes (April 04th 2017) there is no copy of spreadsheet presentations available yet.

Conclusions: I would like to look deeper into mobstats for online engagement and maybe improve our Family Area.  Create material for inclusion in an SSE Airtricity league SLO handbook.

Stephen Joyce, UCD AFC SLO

06th April 2017

Leave a Reply