Gavan Duffy, Chairperson of the The Galway United Friends Co-operative attended the Irish Supporter Network (ISN) event “Towards a Sustainable League” held at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday 26th March.
Other representatives of ISN founders Cork City, Finn Harps, and the 1895 Trust were also in attendance. There were other attendees from Saint Patrick’s Athletic, Shamrock Rovers, UCD, and Cliftonville of the Irish League. League director Fran Gavin opened the event and in his address emphasised the need to work together within the league and pledged the full support of the FAI for the ISN.
Review of Speakers on the day
Niamh O’Mahony, acting CEO of Supporters Direct Europe then introduced her organisation. She explained the history of SDEurope, its work with UEFA and the EU and its widespread membership around European Football.
Gavan and Mike Derham (CCFC) then presented a section on sustainable finance at football clubs. They noted the importance of avoiding structural deficits and spotting the emergence of serious financial issues as early as possible through regular monitoring and planning.
Dinny Deady and Alan Coughlan, Supporter Liaison Officers at Cork City, and Aidan McNelis (Finn Harps SLO) all presented an overview of the SLO role at their clubs. Ronan Evain of Football Supporters Europe organisation then spoke about their work with UEFA to create fan embassies. FSE also promoted the abolition of the ban of standing areas in European football. Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) then made a presentation outlining the many projects their organisation is involved with. There objective is to use the power of sport to break down barriers and bring people together. Peter Madden of Shamrock Rovers spoke about the club’s Community Programme with local schools within its catchment area.
Barry Worthington then presented the final session on the results of the survey conducted by the ISN. Over 900 supporters responded to the survey and more than 750 answering every applicable question. You can read more about the event and the survey results at the Irish Supporters Network website.