Monday, May 20, 2024

Bradley urges goverment to invest in Irish football | The Irish Post

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Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley has pleaded with the Irish government to invest in Irish football to help improve the game in Ireland.

The facilities across the League of Ireland have been deemed inadequate by those deeply involved in Irish football for many years, and many feel this has to change.

Damien Duff, for example, criticised the disparity between Irish soccer and the GAA in terms of infrastructure in 2021.

“We’re light years behind. This isn’t me having a go at the FAI. It’s factual. Go see every county, the training grounds, and what players are given. It’s gone wrong somewhere along the line,” said Duff to the Irish Times in 2021.

Since then, the FAI has offered a solution to the problem. Last June, the FAI presented its investment proposal in the “FAI Facility Investment Vision and Strategy” document, crafted after assessing nationwide grassroots and professional facilities. Their aim is to secure €863 million for 2,500 infrastructure projects over 15 years.

The FAI isn’t the only country aiming to improve its football infrastructure. Last weekend, the Kosovar government announced it would invest €200 million in football infrastructure transformation in Kosovo, including stadium renovations and new construction.

Bradley has this week urged the Irish government to follow suit and improve matters at home, warning that they will be left behind by countries with smaller populations.

“We’ve all been banging the drum and need to keep banging it. I don’t know the ins and outs of the government; they need to be comfortable handing over money to the right people,” said Bradley to reporters of the media this week

“Yesterday, it was Kosovo, was it? They’ve committed €200 million to stadiums. In ten years, we’ll be wondering why they’ve gone ahead and we’re still stuck.

“We need investment. Crowds are good. I believe the teams are good. Managers are good. We need help with facilities for everyone across the board. Like you saw on Monday night, that pitch doesn’t help anyone. If you were here for the first time, I don’t think you’d be coming back.”

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