Monday, November 7, 2016

7 November 2009 - The FAI Might Have Had An Ulterior Motive Here

On 7 November 2009, the Football Association of Ireland expelled Derry City from the league. But their ban lasted less than a week.

The FAI action came one day after the club's last match of the season, a 2-1 win over Dundalk that secured fourth place in the Premier Division table, but it had nothing to do with Derry's performance on the pitch. Instead, the FAI had found the club guilty of breaking the league's financial rules by agreeing to illegal "secondary contracts" with several players.

While the club argued that the contracts merely replaced earlier, temporary agreements, the FAI discovered that Derry's secondary contracts avoided the league's wage restrictions and paid 22 players a total amount of €337,000 over the legal limits.In announcing the club's expulsion, FAI Chief Executive John Delaney said "[t]hat is why Derry City’s contract to play in the league has been terminated. Because [what they did is] unfair to the Brays and Galways and Droghedas who have gone about their business properly."

The ban also meant that Derry lost their claim to the €60,000 FAI bounty they had won with their fourth-place finish. When asked about it, Delaney stated "They can forget about it. That’s not on, absolutely not on."

Nevertheless, despite the speed and severity of the FAI's action, they five days later invited Derry City to reapply to the League of Ireland, albeit one division lower. They won the First Division the following season and returned to the Premier Division in 2011, where they qualified for European competition with a third-place finish.

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