Saturday, May 06, 2006


The reason I have put skin to plastic today is to praise the much-maligned officers in Merrion Square. Of course they alone are not responsible for all that's good in eircom League football today, but they are definitely morphing into a respectable organisation. I know John Delaney and his posse are an imperfect lot and they've shot themselves in the urethral sphincter area on occasion, but stop to think for a minute. Any eircom League fan who had stumbled under the influence of Budstelberging [or whatever beverage is being backed by FIFA /UEFA] into last week's EGM of the IFA at the Stormont Hotel, could be forgiven if they had chosen to finally effect their confirmation pledge. It was reminiscent of many such gatherings under the esteemed offices of the FAI in times past. Then there's been the saga of the relegation play off; Liam Beckett wonders why they didn't have a Plan B. They did, just postpone the game 'til the rain stops and the pitch dries out [repeat ad nauseum]. But I don't wish rain too heavily on the IFA's parade, they are an organisation who are led by men with a vision and a will to drag them into the 20th century, and soon after, the 21st. Unfortunately they are being restrained by the sort of pedanticism and petty squabbling that always occurs when people are being asked to relinquish power. Now is the time to allow the professionals to take over and be trusted to do the work they have been entrusted with. Take a bow David Wells and Jim Boyce.

What I in my long-winded way am trying to say is that the shambolic events in Belfast can serve as a reminder of how far our lot have come on. And it's not often we get to laugh at the professionals in the FA, but they have managed to turn their dredge for an international manager into a cringeworthy farce; this dismal yawn in turn contrives to portray our officers as models of efficiency and best practise At least agree that relatively speaking, the FAI are finally getting their act together.

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