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Monday 25 September 2017

We won't move Euro tie insists Bohs' boss

PAT FENLON insists that his club will not move the date of any Champions League games to avoid a clash with the controversial Lansdowne Road friendly between Manchester United and a League of Ireland XI.

The FAI last week announced that United would play a LOI XI managed by Damien Richardson on Wednesday, August 4, but that could clash with a European tie for Bohs if the Gypsies make it into the third qualifying round of the Champions League, and if the two games had to go head to head it would seriously damage Bohs in terms of attendance and publicity.

"We won't be moving any game. If we get through, we'll be playing on the night we're designated to play. It's as simple as that," said Fenlon when asked if his club would consider moving their game to accommodate the United game.

"It's a friendly match and that won't take preference over a Champions League game for us. Hopefully, we have that problem, that we get through, and then it becomes a bigger problem for other people," added Fenlon, who appeared to be unhappy that the FAI had even fixed a friendly on a date where four LOI sides (Bohs, Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk and Sporting Fingal) could all be playing European ties in the space of 24 hours, as Wednesday is a Champions League date, while Europa League games could be played on the Thursday.

"It shows that there's not a lot of faith in what we're doing on the pitch in Europe. Like you say, getting money into the coffers of the association is more important than getting the money into the coffers of the clubs at the moment. So be it. Nothing we can do about that," added Fenlon who also commented on the controversial decision by the FAI to ban Limerick FC's proposed friendly against Barcelona going ahead.

"I don't know too much about the Barcelona game but, obviously, bringing Barcelona to Limerick... I think if you brought Barcelona to Cork the day after you'd get 50,000; if you brought them to Dublin you'd have 80,000 in Croker. I don't think that's a problem. That's not the real issue.

"Limerick football is crying out for regeneration and I think that would have been a great kick-start," he said.

"We want to have the big cities represented in the Premier Division, and I think whatever sort of money they were going to make out of it was going to help develop the stadium and attract better players and more finances, but that's a question, I suppose, for other people to answer as well."

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