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'It would be an absolute embarrassment" | Dan McDonnell on voiding LOI season

Dan McDonnell joined the Football Show on Off The Ball on Tuesday to discuss how the League of Ir...



Soccer

'It would be an absolute embarrassment" | Dan McDonnell on voiding LOI season

Dan McDonnell joined the Football Show on Off The Ball on Tuesday to discuss how the League of Ireland might return and how the clubs will cope financially.

The Irish Independent journalist also shed some light on how disastrous abandoning the season would be for so many parties involved, including players having incomes slashed.

"The players are not just going to go, 'Oh well, the season is over, that's it.' They will all have made commitments in their lives," McDonnell said, "be that mortgages or whatever, based on earning this amount of money."

McDonnell says the League of Ireland clubs and players will need to come together in that worst-case scenario.

"They will need to reach some sort of settlement on it, and while the COVID unemployment benefit is in place at the moment, you would have to see how things are over a period of time.

"So clubs are going to face some kind of pain in every scenario. In the one where the season ends, they thrash out and negotiate what that pain is.

"While the one where football comes back there is an element of a gamble, where it could be this, but could it be made better?

"I think the possibility is there for grounds to open later in the year for a small number of spectators. Could that be used to facilitate a compromise and say, 'well actually guys, in September, you might,' but that's a gamble?

"It's a delicate equation and I respect all points of view on it."

League of Ireland - last European summer league to restart

The League Ireland's will be the last of the European summer leagues to restart. McDonnell believes that factors beyond just the pandemic are at play in the lack of clarity.

The league season being voided "remains a distinct possibility," according to McDonnell. "There's an eagerness to avoid it.

"My personal opinion on this is that would be an absolute embarrassment if that happened.

"If the health situation appears to be improving, and I know we have to be very cautious about restrictions, and I wouldn't be cavalier about it. However, it does appear that things are getting slightly better."

"All the other summer Leagues in Europe are back, so if the League of Ireland doesn't return it's not really just because of the pandemic.

"Obviously that's where it stems from but it would be more a case of our (financial) problems. All of the winter leagues that are finishing, for example, they are all planning on coming back in September."


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