Niall Quinn: League of Ireland 'can not survive owned by the FAI'

By Stephen Barry

Niall Quinn believes the League of Ireland needs to break away from the FAI if it's to grow and prosper.

He says the league "can not survive" if it continues to be administered in any way by the FAI.

Although he doesn't blame the FAI "for not attracting that investment" necessary, he says splitting the management of the international team and the league is needed to do so.

"The league has to do what every other league in the world does: stands up for itself, promotes itself, markets itself, brings in money from all over the world if it can, no matter how it does it, put an office in Dublin with people who are owners of the league, make the league bigger and better," he said on Virgin Media Sport.

"It can not survive owned by the FAI or even half-owned by the FAI. They shouldn't have anything to do with it in my opinion."

He sees an improved league as crucial to creating a pathway for players in Ireland, as opposed to shipping them off to English clubs at a young age.

"The foundation of all that needs a solid, academy-backed, league-driven policy and professional organisation in this country. That is sadly neglected.

"We have got to give the League of Ireland its due respect, have our players here, have an ambition to have a pathway through League of Ireland to get into the Irish set-up and not to run away on the boat and have a career over and done with before you've even grown into a man."

When asked if he'd be interested in coming on board to run the league, he replied: "For the League, yes, but not for the FAI. Sorry - too much politics there for me."

Former Ireland manager Brian Kerr was also asked, responding: "I'd consider any role in football if I was ever offered one again in the country, but I haven't been since 2005."

Meanwhile, on RTÉ, Liam Brady branded Kerr's exclusion as "disgraceful".

“Two Dutch people in charge and, with all due respect to them, they didn’t understand Irish football, they didn’t understand what the Dublin Schoolboy League is, and we needed people in those positions who understood the game," he said.

“We should have never lost Brian Kerr from youth development here in this country. I think it’s well known that he doesn’t get on with John Delaney, but that shouldn’t be any reason why Brian hasn’t been involved.

“To lose him for that amount of time and have two guys in who didn’t really understand what they were coming into and really haven’t produced any plan whatsoever, until lately... to have a guy like him not involved is disgraceful."

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