AN INCREASED financial package and a suggestion of enabling clubs to play games at home mean there is growing optimism for the resumption of the League of Ireland.
Clubs met with FAI chiefs on a conference call yesterday where an improved offer was outlined to clubs.
The Premier Division clubs, including Finn Harps, have been told that they can now expect to receive around €190,000 under the new deal.
The FAI Board have yet to rubber-stamp the plan, which is still believed to be dependent on sourcing third-party support from the government and Sport Ireland.
The increased support package, totalling around €3 million, for clubs was partly enabled by the scrapping of the suggestion that clubs would play neutral games.
Now, though, it seems that there may be a short period of behind-closed-doors matches before spectators are allowed to return, likely in limited numbers.
Last week, a meeting passed without a hint of resolution leaving clubs fretting over the future of the 2020 season.
A meeting in May had proposed a series of actions to get clubs back playing.
Cash-strapped clubs have sought further information on a financial package that was said to have left them ‘disappointed’ last week.
A suggestion that the four clubs who have qualified for Europe share their UEFA money with the rest of the League and possibly also agree to a cull in prize money was met with a mix of surprise and anger among representatives.
Yesterday’s meeting offered a rather more bright picture, although clubs will still pore over the nuts and bolts of the deal.
The season could now resume in early August and it is widely expected that it would entail a total of an 18-game campaign.
Yesterday, Harps outlined ambitious plans to raise €30,000 to help bring Finn Park up to scratch with Covid-19 compliances.
Harps are exploring plans to make modifications to the exiting dressing room area and to add the provision of a new temporary dressing room for the away team, match officials and a medical room.
The dated Navenny Street venue falls short of the licensing criteria but with the club hoping to press on with the development of a new stadium in Stranorlar, football chiefs have been sympathetic.
The temporary measures to be included in the works to Finn Park include adding temporary accommodation, which could be utilised at the new stadium in the future.
So far, the fundraising venture has raised over €5,000. Further details on how to contribute are available on www.finnharps.ieTags: