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Quinn outlines plan for LoI revamp
07 Jul 2015 14:02
Former Ireland international Niall Quinn has outlined his vision for a revamp of the League of Ireland.
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Recent seasons have seen a drop in attendances, facilities at some Premier Division grounds are below standard and many sides are struggling to survive financially.
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In addition, the league winners receive just €100,000 in prize money.
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Speaking on RTÉ Sport's Game On in the wake of the resignation of Trevor Croly from Bray Wanderers, Quinn said: "I would love to see a revamp of the League of Ireland on the basis that money can be made externally.
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"There are emerging countries around the world and their TV companies are desperate for content.
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"Now I know I can watch football from Chile and Honduras at 2am and 3am and that's money that is making its way from TV companies back into football in those countries."
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Quinn cited the example of cricket in the Caribbean.
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He said: "Cricket was dead, people went in - they changed it all around, they revamped it, they styled it, and now they've sold it to over 50 countries around the world."
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The former Sunderland chairman asked, "Are we big and bold enough to envisage a situation where our league is revamped, the problems you talk about are taken care of on day one, big backing comes in and we can sell that product?"
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Quinn said he was involved with people looking for content from African countries and knew for a fact that they would pay.
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"If this thing gets a bit of energy, and a backer comes in, I think the league could really take its place," he said.
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When asked if such a move would have to take place outside of the umbrella of the FAI, Quinn said: "They have governance of everything.
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"You have to give them a bit of credit at times because they have probably put out more fires that we have never seen because the league has been in a bad place."
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Expressing his hope that the league can be bounced back out of the "perilous position" it is in, Quinn pointed to the example of the MLS
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"There are emerging countries around the world and their TV companies are desperate for content"
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He said: "[The MLS] was dead on its feet [but there is now] a central running of it that makes everything work - it's sexy now, for want of a better word.
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"There may be a bit of pressure needed on the FAI from someone, or a group of people, who can do something about it. It may have to be foreign.
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"History tells you it is a fantastic league, but it needs something now. This thing isn't going to happen by itself.
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"If we can sell rights in this country to our football, you are now on the world stage."
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