Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Where does anybody start with trying to extract the logic from the recent toings and froings of Irish domestic soccer? It exasperates to even conceive, that a National League can descend into such a maelstrom of farce and idiocy.

And what appears to be the panacea for our ailing competition? Fines and legal actions. Just what a league - which hopes to be all singing and all dancing for next season in an effort to drum up fresh support both on and off the plastic seats and terraces - needs.

It has become an embarrassment to be unveiled as a supporter of the eircom League. Fans of English football point and mock; their laughter circles uncomfortably around you, and your defence is exposed; for there is no saving explanation.

We are the victims of smallminded image consciousness and stressed out club chairmen. Indeed the antics of those in positions of authority on both the club and administrative sides would be sneered at in schoolboy football circles; this makes the fact that the situation[s] are being played out across media even more embarrassing.

All eL fans will weep when they look at these threats and counter threats from the outside. At a time when we should be enjoying a fantastic title run in, we are being asked if we have a condom. How can all of this be happening again? Every fans forum is like an autumnal tree, with fans falling from every branch; disillusioned by the ill judged intrusions and inept inertia of those who hold our beloved game by it's tenderest parts.

I could go on and on, that's if I haven't already! This eL fan is in his maiden season and I have loved every minute of what I've seen on the pitch. I know we have problems to solve, but our product is a quality one; it's about the football, the atmosphere of a live game. We have some class players plying their wares, and some class managers. We are drawing ever closer to the heartbeat of European football.

The last words go to an unlikely source, Dr. Damo. I heard him being interviewed on RTE Radio during the week and the thrust of what he said was this: We need to stop the pedantic behaviour of running to the high court to resolve our disputes. We need to hold our nerve now - we are at an important crossroads, and the next step for us is the most exciting step that Irish football has ever taken.

For my money, the wisest words that I have heard from anyone in authority this season - I just wish they hadn't come from Dr. Damo!

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