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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 30 September 2020

PFAI: Players "had to make a stand" in Super Cup dispute

Airtricity League stars unhappy after learning that they would be paid less than €300 for playing in the two-day Aviva tournament.

Members of the Airtricity League XI pose today with the Dublin Super Cup trophy.
Members of the Airtricity League XI pose today with the Dublin Super Cup trophy.
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

PFAI GENERAL SECRETARY Stephen McGuinness is “hopeful” that this weekend’s inaugural Dublin Super Cup will go ahead as planned, despite suggestions that unhappy Airtricity League players were threatening to withdraw from the tournament.

Writing in this morning’s Irish Sun (print edition), Neil O’Riordan reported that a number of Damien Richardson’s squad requested a meeting with McGuinness after discovering that they would earn less than €300 in return for attending six training sessions and the two-day tournament.

The League of Ireland stars were also upset that they would have to travel to nearby Wanderers Rugby Club in order to use their shower facilities, and that they had only been allocated two complimentary tickets each for friends and family.

Speaking to following this morning’s meeting with the league squad, McGuinness said that the players had “unanimously” given him a mandate to discuss these three main issues with the FAI on their behalf.

However, with less than 72 hours to go before the Airtricity XI kick off the tournament against Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City, he said he was surprised at how difficult it had been to contact the Abbotstown bosses.

“I’ve been trying to contact the FAI to discuss the matter. The league director [Fran Gavin] is away on holidays until tomorrow, so I’ve put a call in to request a meeting with John Delaney. But I’m surprised at how difficult it has been to arrange a meeting with the FAI.

Considering the press coverage on the matter, I would have thought that someone would have been available to speak to. Obviously the FAI doesn’t think it’s much of an issue.

Although the time available for both parties to hammer out a truce is running out, McGuinness described their concerns as “more than reasonable.”

“I don’t see them as unresolvable,” he said. ”At this moment in time though, the players felt that they had to make a stand.”

However, McGuinness refused to be drawn on the possibility of the players withdrawing from the tournament if the disagreement continued into the weekend.

“Obviously that’s not a decision for the players to make. Ultimately, it’s up to the FAI to address these issues.

“The players want to concentrate their energy on preparing for the tournament, but at the same time they want these issues resolved and so they’ve asked me to try to do it.

I’m not going to speculate, but I’d be hopeful that it wouldn’t come to that.

The FAI was unavailable for comment when contacted earlier this afternoon.

Read more of Neil O’Riordan’s initial report in this morning’s Irish Sun (print edition) >

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Niall Kelly

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