Explainer: Why Dundalk received €50k fine for manager's Europa League involvement

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Dundalk have received a fine of €50,000 over manager Filippo Giovagnoli's involvement in their Europa League campaign.
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James Cox

For a Premier League club €50,000 wouldn't even cover a weekly wage for many players but it is a significant chunk of cash for a League of Ireland side, so why have Dundalk been fined for manager Filippo Giovagnoli's involvement in the Europa League?

The simple answer is he does not have the relevant qualifications for European competition.

Despite the Lilywhites' struggles in the competition so far, without a victory ahead of tonight's clash with Molde, their European adventure will be a money-spinner for the club.

Giovagnoli has been crucial in helping the club get there but the fact he does not hold a Pro Licence has resulted in the sanction from UEFA.

Dundalk tried to get around this by naming a member of Giovagnoli's coaching team, Shane Keegan, as manager for their Europa League games.

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Keegan holds the relevant qualification. However, UEFA said Giovagnoli has been 'shadow coaching'.

UEFA said Filippo Giovagnoli had been "shadow coaching" Dundalk during their Europa League campaign. Pic: INPHO

Despite Keegan being named manager for the games, it was clear that Giovagnoli was still calling the shots and this led to the Italian being banned from the touchline for the clash against Rapid Vienna last week.

Dundalk have since been issued with the €50,000 fine while Giovagnoli has been forbidden from having any input for tonight's game against Molde and the final game against Arsenal next week.

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body made the decision “to ban Mr. Filippo Giovanoli [sic] from carrying out any function of a head coach, as well as of any coaching staff, at Uefa competition matches until he fulfills the criteria contemplated in Article 36 in conjunction with Article 40(1)(b) Uefa Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

“In particular, Mr. Filippo Giovanoli shall not seat in the technical area during Uefa competition matches until the above criteria are fulfilled".

Dundalk cannot qualify for the next round after four defeats, but they will still be hoping to get a result before the end of the campaign and the influence of their manager will certainly be missed.

The 49-year-old's appointment as Dundalk boss in August came as something of a surprise and his lack of a Pro Licence is probably down to the fact that he didn't need one in his previous career.

Giovagnoli spent a number of years coaching in lower leagues in Italy before six years as director of the Metropolitan Oval Academy in New York.

UEFA Pro Licence

It takes most candidates two years to complete a UEFA Pro Licence but this can be fast tracked for some candidates and completed in six to eight months.

This may well be the route Dundalk go down if Giovagnoli stays on for next season.

Dundalk's clash with Molde in Norway kicks off at 8pm tonight with coverage on Virgin Media Two from 7.30pm.

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