Niall Quinn outlines bold proposal to reinvigorate the League of Ireland
Quinn also believes that there needs to be a different mindset as regards the development of players08:16 Wednesday 5 August 2015, 8:16 5 Aug 2015
The League of Ireland needs to be revamped and the television rights sold to emerging nations. So says Niall Quinn, who is adamant that selling TV rights abroad is a way to reinvigorate the League.
Quinn has floated the proposal before, pointing to his past dealings with TV stations from developing countries who are desperate for live sport, and touched on it again yesterday while he was in Dublin promoting Sky Sports coverage for the upcoming Premier League season.
Colouring in his vision, he raised the prospect of getting to a situation where once could see 'Shamrock Rovers playing Bohemians in a bar in Kenya'.
Is such a thing fanciful?
"You need a belief that you can package the League of Ireland for the outside world. By the outside world, I don't mean the UK. I spent a bit of time in Africa a few years ago and football is just off the wall, it's incredible."
He said if he was charged with marketing the League of Ireland in Africa, he would begin to selling it as a League where Roy Keane had played and where Damien Duff is currently playing.
Echoing the suggestions of Roy Keane last week, he also said that he'd like to see the League of Ireland become more of an option for young players. He reiterated the difficulties modern Irish players face when trying to break into clubs in England - when compared with the opportunities accorded his generation.
"In my day, we got away to clubs and it was great because you had a chance of going up the ladder. Now you're taking on Europeans, Africans, Americans, Asians and it's just so difficult."
He hinted that the League needed to regard to development of young Irish players as one of its objectives.
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