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Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 17:41 UK

All-Ireland League plan scrapped

Howard Wells
Howard Wells was critical of the All-Ireland plans

Platinum One, who were planning to establish a new All-Ireland League, have decided to scrap their proposals.

The group has written to the clubs it has been working with in recent months to tell them that "the initiative should not be taken any further".

The company's chairman Fintan Drury said the reaction of the governing bodies north and south of the border, and some clubs, had killed the idea.

Teams from the Eircom Premier and Irish Leagues had been involved in the talks.

"In recent weeks the Chief Executive of the FAI, John Delaney, has said that the Eircom League had made great strides since the Association took it over for the 2007 season," said Platium One chairman Fintan Drury in a statement.

"He said that a dozen league clubs are profitable while three others had losses of less than 30,000. This statement represents a public assurance by the man who governs Irish football and it is only reasonable to assume that he would not make such public comments unless he was certain of the facts.

"The concept of an All Ireland Premier League emerged from the concerns expressed to us by a number of clubs a year ago.

"The alarm felt by clubs was acute but would appear to have been ameliorated in the past 10 months given that the AGM of the Association earlier this summer passed off without any concerns being raised or questions being asked by those same clubs.

"With regard to Northern Ireland, the Chief Executive of the IFA, Howard Wells, who was immediately and strongly supportive of our plans at the outset, has in recent months publicly challenged the timing and motivation behind our plan.

"The primary motivation was to establish a new beginning for Irish football based on a sensible macro economic model with a professionally established and managed premier league that would survive and then thrive long into the future.

"In reviewing matters in recent weeks it is clear that the two associations believe that they are already well on the way to achieving the same result with the existing structures.

"The different stakeholders, including the league management committees and the clubs themselves, through their silence, would appear to concur so it would not be sensible to take discussions on the proposed all Ireland league any further at this time," he concluded.

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