Shamrock Rovers welcomes the FAI plans to prepare for a resumption of the League of Ireland at the earliest possible date.
The document entitled “Return to Football” | Behind Closed Doors issued yesterday by the FAI following consultation with all clubs and the Players Association, guidelines are now in place to help clubs get prepared for the return of the league when it is declared safe to do so by the various authorities including the HSE and the Department of Health.
Unlike many European leagues and the English Premier League, the League of Ireland got as far as game #5 when the closedown commenced. Many other leagues are at the final stages of their competitions and some have taken the decision to cease at this point. We are in a different situation and need the return to football in 2020 to continue with our domestic season in addition to being prepared to play in the 2020/2021 UEFA competitions when they commence later this year.
We know that “normal” is not coming to society in general for quite some time, perhaps up to 18 months from now, so we need to adapt to these times and playing with reduced crowds or no crowds and streaming the games is a positive for the game. We will collaborate with all clubs and, through the NLEC (National League Executive Committee), we look forward to developing the ‘behind closed doors’ opportunity with Niall Quinn, Gary Owens and all staff members involved at the FAI.
Head Coach Stephen Bradley said “I welcome the work done by the clubs, PFAI and the FAI in putting together a comprehensive set of guidelines from the resumption of training to matchdays that will allow our league recommence whenever it is safe to do so. Football is not just a game, this is the occupation of our squad and like everyone else, we are keen to return to work and we will be ready to participate fully with all health and safety guidelines and instructions.”