In the wake of the club's expulsion from the 2019/20 Europa League, Waterford FC chairman and owner, Lee Power has issued a strongly word statement that is critical of the FAI's handling of the matter.

On Thursday, the FAI confirmed that UEFA will not be granting an exception to Waterford to allow them to compete in the upcoming qualifying rounds for the next season's Europa League.

A club must be three years old to compete in European competition, and the Blues' management company was only formed in late 2016.

Although an exception was made for Sporting Fingal just over a decade ago, it looks as though Waterford's place will instead be taken by St Patrick's Athletic. 

Power's statement on the UEFA licensing decision reads: "Everyone at Waterford FC are deeply shocked and saddened at the news that we have been expelled from playing in the Europa League this season. We feel we have been totally misled by the FAI and were given assurances throughout this five-month process by them that the licence would be granted. We also had club visits by UEFA delegates during this period of which no issues were raised.

"As a club, we entered into substantial commercial agreements and invested heavily again into the team and also budgeted for the qualification money due in November. This will now have a serious financial impact on the club going forward.

"The circumstances to which this decision has been made and the events over the last week are unclear and dubious, bearing in mind representations made to us and assurances given.

"We will be asking for a full investigation into the FAI handling of this matter.

"I have instructed my UK lawyers to lodge an immediate appeal with UEFA and will pursue any legal avenue we have with regards to compensation and/or any wrong doing against a number of parties.

"Finally, I must mention the people who matter the most – the supporters - who have supported this club through thick and thin and have been badly let down by the people in Ireland governing this process."
 

The FAI has been contacted for comment.