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Waterford to lodge appeal against Europa League expulsion

Blues owner Lee Power issued a statement today, saying the club feel ‘misled’ by the FAI.

Waterford owner Lee Power.
Waterford owner Lee Power.
Image: Paul Harding

WATERFORD WILL LODGE a formal appeal against their expulsion from this summer’s Uefa Europa League qualifiers, with owner Lee Power saying the club are “deeply shocked and saddened” at recent events.

Yesterday, the FAI confirmed that Waterford would not be eligible to participate in next season’s tournament as they do not meet Uefa’s club licensing regulations and had failed in their request for an exception.

St Patrick’s Athletic are set to profit from the predicament as they were the next-best finisher in last season’s Premier Division table in fifth place. On Wednesday, the FAI confirmed that they had received a letter from St Pat’s in relation to the matter.

In a wide-ranging statement issued by the club this lunchtime, Power said the Blues would be seeking financial remuneration should their appeal to be reinstated by Uefa be unsuccessful.

He said: “Everyone at Waterford FC are deeply shocked and saddened at the news that we have been expelled from playing in the Europa League this season.

“We feel we have been totally misled by the FAI and were given assurances throughout this five-month process by them that the licence would be granted.

“We also had club visits by Uefa Delegates during this period of which no issues were raised.

“As a club, we entered into substantial commercial agreements and invested heavily again into the team and also budgeted for the qualification money due in November. This will now have a serious financial impact on the club going forward.

“The circumstances to which this decision has been made and the events over the last week are unclear and dubious, bearing in mind representations made to us and assurances given.

“We will be asking for a full investigation into the FAI handling of this matter.

“I have instructed my UK Lawyers to lodge an immediate appeal with Uefa and will pursue any legal avenue we have with regards to compensation and/or any wrong doing against a number of parties.

“Finally, I must mention the people who matter the most – the supporters – who have supported this club through thick and thin and have been badly let down by the people in Ireland governing this process.”

St Pat’s were unavailable for comment when contacted about the issue by The42 last night.

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