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Dublin: 0°C Thursday 6 May 2021

US and UK-backed Dublin County FC given green light to apply for LOI First Division

Two Limerick sides have been approved to apply, along with Shamrock Rovers B.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

A CLUB CALLED Dublin County FC are among those given the green light by the FAI to engage in the licensing process, with a view to joining the League of Ireland First Division in 2021.

Two Limerick sides have been given the go-ahead to apply – Treaty United and the old Limerick FC – while Shamrock Rovers B have also been allowed to reapply for their place in the competition. 

Dublin outfit St Francis FC have been rejected from the process, though they thanked the FAI for their engagement and signalled an intention to apply again in the future.

Dublin County FC are backed by a group of investors calling themselves Irish Sea FC, a group that launched an ultimately unsuccessful effort to buy Cabinteely FC last year.

Among the group’s directors are former Sunderland captain Chris Makin, Ex-Crystal Palace player Jamie Fullarton, American coach Dennis Lukens, and Alex and Sibrena Geraldino, co-owners of US club New Jersey Teamsters. 

The latter are a married couple who quit their respective jobs to fulfil their dream of owning a football club, and took part in a Discovery Channel documentary called “I Quit” which followed the progress of selected entrepreneurs starting new ventures. The League of Ireland venture is unconnected to this television series. 

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“Irish Sea FC LTD trading as Dublin County FC are very pleased to announce that we have been invited to apply for a League of Ireland License. Our Board would like to thank the FAI and LOI for this great opportunity and all the time, effort and work they put into this process”, tweeted the group today. 

After the 2020 men’s season proceeded without a Limerick club, two from the regional have received approval to go forth for licensing this time around. Treaty United sprung up in response to Limerick FC’s difficulties in the last year or so, and they entered a side into the Women’s National League this year. 

Limerick FC have also been permitted to join the process, as have Shamrock Rovers B, who made their debut in the First Division this year. The inclusion of a B side stoked ire among the rest of the First Division clubs, however,  who ultimately agreed to face Rovers B “under protest” and for the 2020 season only. 

None of these four clubs are yet guaranteed a place in next season’s First Division, and all will now have a licence application judged by the FAI, with a final decision expected in early January. 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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