Sligo Rovers have expressed ‘great disappointment’ that their home ground, The Showgrounds, was not chosen as the venue for this year’s Setanta Sports Cup final.
The contest will see the Bit O’Red take on league leaders Dundalk in the final of the All-Ireland cup competition, which will be played at Tallaght Stadium on 10 May.
A statement released by Sligo Rovers read: “The club's reaction is one of great disappointment that The Showgrounds will not host the final.”
Sligo Rovers chairman Dermot Kelly said: “It would have been a great credit for all the improvements and investment we have made to the ground in the last number of years to host the game.”
However, Cup final opponents Dundalk were never in favour of bringing the final to Sligo, which would have effectively handed home advantage to Ian Baraclough’s side.
When contacted by RTÉ Sport, Dundalk chairman Ciaran Bond said: “You have to play a final at the best stadium in country and after the Aviva it’s Tallaght Stadium.
“A cup final of this magnitude should be played in a neutral venue.”
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny says he would not be happy if a decision is made to play the Setanta cup final in Sligo— LMFM RADIO (@LMFMRADIO) April 15, 2014
Sligo's Kelly added: “The club would have been confident of a capacity crowd and to bring the match to a venue in Dublin that has attracted diminishing attendances in finals - in which the tenants of Tallaght Stadium have participated - makes little sense.”
“The region would have backed the occasion massively but it's likely now to get 'lost' in South County Dublin.”
“Sligo Rovers made a proposal to the Setanta Sports Cup committee to host the game for a smaller cost, a likely sell-out crowd and less travelling time for those attending.”