An ongoing dispute between Limerick United and Limerick City football clubs threatens the existence of League of Ireland soccer in Limerick.

Pat Grace owner of Pat Grace's Famous Fried Chicken restaurants is the chairman of Limerick City. He also sponsors the League of Ireland (LOI). Pat Grace was Chairman of Limerick United but he fell out with other members of the board.

In Pat Grace's estimation Limerick United’s management is,

A bunch of rubbish.

He expected to be the majority shareholder of Limerick United. When he discovered he was not, he tried to set up Limerick City, drawing on the existing Limerick United players. However a court ruling found Limerick United and not Limerick City are allowed to play in the LOI.

John McNamara is the major share holder in Limerick United. He found out about the plan to change the club’s name from United to City in the press. The League of Ireland were informed the name change was not sanctioned by the company that runs the club. John McNamara hoped the League of Ireland would resolve the matter but they refused. He believes their reluctance to get involved in the matter is because,

The person who requested the change of name is in fact the main sponsor of the League of Ireland.

According to John McNamara the League of Ireland were aware that Pat Grace had resigned as a director of Limerick United in April 1983 and therefore had no right to request the name change.

Pat Grace sponsors the League of Ireland but if his Limerick City team is not allowed to play in the league he may be forced to reconsider his position. While he has given his word to sponsor league until a year after the current season, he thinks his advertising advisors will,

No doubt be putting pressure on me to do something, I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t like to break my word on that.

Limerick United state they have sponsors to get them through the coming season. Mick Webb of Limerick United does not trust Pat Grace, but wants to reach an amicable settlement for the good of football. In spite of Pat Grace,

Football will go on in Limerick because it has gone on since 1937.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 October 1983.