"They've totally failed" - Stuart Byrne on the FAI as the row deepens with "suffocated" clubs

"People all of a sudden realised that 'we're better than this'"

"They've totally failed" - Stuart Byrne on the FAI as the row deepens with "suffocated" clubs

Stuart Byrne

Stuart Byrne believes that the current processes in place by the FAI regarding domestic clubs have "completely shackled the clubs" in the League of Ireland.

Byrne was a panellist on Soccer Republic on Monday night when Brian Kerr was involved in a fiery debate with the FAI's Fran Gavin over the row between some clubs and the association regarding the FAI grant of €100,000 to be spread across the 20 clubs.

"The first six months of this in 2007, there was this positive attitude, 'we were going to do this, we were going to do that'. Since then, they've effectively suffocated the clubs to compound an already difficult financial situation and what they've done is put processes in place to restrict clubs from negotiating their own corporate agreements. They have to go through the FAI to do this, they have to go through the FAI to do that, 'you can't put this sign up' so on and so forth. It's endless, almost to the point that they've completely shackled the clubs from doing anything," he said on Off The Ball, adding that "transparency is the problem". 

"The clubs are totally suffocated by all this now. They've been beaten down so much that they'd probably accept anything that was put in front of their face and that's probably what you've seen with this initial agreement in regard to the €100,000. I would imagine that they're all having second thoughts now when they look at the backlash from Pats and from Derry and from the broader supporters who won't accept this. Is it any coincidence that this happened off the back of what Dundalk have achieved last week? That was such a fantastic occasion for the country. People all of a sudden realised that 'we're better than this' and that was the platform for them to say 'no'."

Stuey continued in regard to the FAI and the league: "They can't sell it anymore. They're completely caught up in their own process and their own self-indulgence that this siege mentality - they just can't communicate that message. They've totally failed".

Emmett Malone of The Irish Times also joined the show and broke down the key numbers and the need for huge investment to strengthen the league.