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Rock the Crossbar

Wednesday, September 6

The Irish Chelsea?

Some big developments in the League of Ireland this week with the news that Dublin club Bohemians are to sell their famous old home, Dalymount Park, to property developer Liam Carroll for €40m as well as a purpose-built 10,000-seater stadium.

Under the proposal, Carroll – who is reputed to be worth in excess of €1.5bn – will pay Bohs approximately €40m, including annual payments of €3.2m until the new stadium is ready, with the balance payable after Bohs leave Dalymount Park.

Early projections forecast that the new stadium, off the M50 near Ballymun, could be built within five years, when the balance of approximately €25m would be paid.

Dalymount has been home to Bohs for the past 105 years. It was also historically the "home of Irish football" holding Irish internationals and FAI Cup finals. However, the ground was hardly developed from the 1940s until the early years of the new century and has fallen out of use as a major venue, except for the home games of Bohemians.

Now this would be a decent amount of money to most English clubs but to a League of Ireland club it is astronomical. All clubs in the top division are already full-time professional but I think wages are probably on a par with English Division 1 and 2.(or lower) As a result, the top clubs in the league have been able to attract players who could be playing in Div 1 and 2 in England. (feels weird to write that but you know I mean the good old-fashioned division 3 and 4)

Since the league switched to a summer format a fwe years ago, the European results have really improved as it gives the League of Ireland teams a chance to play European matches while they are in peak mid-season fitness and their opponents are in pre-season shape. Derry City for example have beaten IFK Gothenburg and hammered Scottish Cup Finalists Gretna 5-1 away in the UEFA Cup so far this year and play Paris St Germain next.

Anyway, I am not sure what this influx of cash to a single club will do for the League of Ireland as a whole but it will be interesting to keep an eye on Bohs over the next 5-10 years. If they can start attracting players of an even higher standard than English Div 1 and 2 and make it through to the Champions League league stages some year (Shelbourne went out at the final hurdle last year to Deportivo) that means even more money down the road. Of course, in true Irish fashion, all the money might just go missing and the club could be broke in 10 years.

12 Comments:

  • Can't imagine what it feels like to be a Shamrock Rovers supporter now. Their ground was sold, they're now in the eircom and the players all have day jobs. It could have been them in fate had been different.

    By Blogger Chris P, at 4:40 PM  

  • Very impressive Chris. Rovers still haven't found a home since they left Milltown in 1987. In that case though, the money with to the Kilcoyne family who owned Rovers at the time and the club didn't get much.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:11 PM  

  • What's the player make-up these days in the LOI? Is it still predominantly Irish or is it attracting Scandinavians or even Africans now? You would imagine that if Bohs have this money, it could attract foreigners into the League. I'd live in Dublin quicker than I would Glasgow for instance, and a lot quicker than Inverness.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 7:38 AM  

  • Yes, definitely still predominantly Irish but you do see a few Africans and Eastern-Europeans popping up. Thats more a reflection of the changing population of Ireland rather than the league attracting players from there though.
    You have a few journey-men pros from Britain as well.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 3:54 PM  

  • Can anybody explain this to me? Why can't people do what they want with their own money?

    If your logic is:

    "internet gambling poses a threat to our families by bringing addictive behaviour right into our living rooms,"

    Then surely you can say the same about alcohol? I find this very un-"land of the free" like.

    http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,1868235,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=1

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 2:32 PM  

  • I quite agree John - but America has always been strict on gambling - hence only 2 states allow you to gamble. We all know gambling goes on, be it at a mates house over poker or on weekly American football office pools... Why they feel the need to crack down on this i have no idea - perhaps its the thought of millions of US dollars exiting the country with no return for the government.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 3:28 PM  

  • Do what they do in Ireland then (maybe in the UK too) - Government takes 10% of all stakes but winnings are tax free.

    So if you are putting 2 Euro on a horse you give the bookie 2.20 but you keep all your winnings.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:02 PM  

  • Check Out Ed Brayton's excellent 'Dispatches from the culture wars' for commentart on the duplicity of the internet gambling laws..

    http://scienceblogs.com/cgi-bin/MT/mt-search.cgi?Template=combinedSearch&search=gambling

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 5:04 PM  

  • Take a look at the signatures on the Declaration of Independence and count how many of the signers were of Puritan lineage.

    Then note that most Westward expansion was fueled not only, but also by a desire to get somewhere where a more pious life could be lead.

    This country and it's attitudes should always be viewed through a very conservative take on the Bible.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 9:51 AM  

  • Boo!
    Seperation of church an State!

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 7:20 PM  

  • Don't remember Jesus steaming into the church and knocking over the desks of people using betjamaica.com.
    I think he would have approved - "I bet you $100 I can turn that water into wine".

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 7:47 PM  

  • Internet bad: Horseracing good.

    Let's hear it for 'special interest'

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 4:00 AM  

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