Alan Reynolds has expressed his frustration with the uncertainty surrounding Waterford’s participation in the Europa League after St Patrick’s Athletic challenged the Blues’ right to play in Europe.

"Our players were signed on the basis of playing in Europe this season and it is very disappointing for the coaching staff and the players that we are in this predicament," Reynolds told RTÉ Sport, amid fears Waterford FC chairman Lee Power will walk away from Irish football if the club is excluded from Europe.

Power, who is also chairman of Swindon Town, is understood to be deeply frustrated as officials at the Blues fear that St Patrick's Athletic will take their place in European combat this season.

Power has ploughed enormous money into Waterford.

He was recently in the news for a statement in which he gave strong backing to former FAI CEO John Delaney.

In a letter to acting FAI chief executive Rea Walshe, which RTÉ Sport have seen, St Pat's argue through owner and executive chairman Garrett Kelleher that the club should get the SSE Airtricity League’s final place in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League on the basis that Waterford are not eligible for a UEFA club licence.

Saints took advice from the European Club Association on the matter and contend that Waterford are in breach of two criteria for being granted the license they need.

The company that runs Waterford, Power Grade Limited, was born late in 2016. Technically Waterford can thus not play in European football this season, as a club needs to be at least three years old to play in European competitions.

However, there is a precedent to which Waterford can refer, since Sporting Fingal enjoyed European football in 2010, having had their first game in 2008 and having been formed late in 2007.

"I was unaware of the restrictions but an FAI guy told me that a club had to be in existence three years to get into European football," John O'Brien, Fingal's former club secretary, told RTÉ Sport.

"The guy in the FAI assured me they would sort it out for us and they did. They were very helpful to our situation and they did not foresee it as being a big issue and it wasn't. We had done nothing wrong, other than be such a young club."

The other point raised by St Pat's is in relation "overdue payables" or debts owed to other parties within the game. 

In late 2016 Power, who has family connections in the region, agreed a deal to become owner and chairman of Waterford.

He said there were a number of reasons behind the deal, claiming that the facilities in Waterford were Premier League standard and better than Swindon's.