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Bradley: 'Do you allow people to over-budget?'


Concern: Stephen Bradley

Concern: Stephen Bradley


Concern: Stephen Bradley

Stephen Bradley says it's good to talk when it comes to the administration of the league in Ireland.

But the Shamrock Rovers boss admits he has concerns about an FAI proposal to provide a fund to pay the wages of players at clubs who are in financial difficulty.

If things had gone their way, Rovers could have been in Denmark last night, taking on Nordsjælland in the Europa League, only that honour went to AIK, the Swedish club who knocked the Hoops out, narrowly, in the last round.

Instead, Bradley's men are on home soil, facing Sligo Rovers this evening in a game which will be key in their battle to secure European football for next season.

Despite their European exit, domestic form is excellent as far as Rovers are concerned, just two points dropped (and those ones were away to champions Cork City) in a five-game run which has yielded five clean sheets.

"It's something we said last year we needed to improve on. I think we've done that," says Bradley, who will tonight hand a home 'debut' to veteran keeper Alan Mannus, back at Rovers after seven years away. "We're happy how we've defended as a team."


Off-field issues have eaten into the debate around the league in recent weeks with the financial woes at Bray Wanderers and Limerick, a surprise to all concerned coming on Wednesday with an FAI suggestion to jointly finance, with the PFAI, a fund which could be used to pay unpaid wages.

And Bradley has concerns.

"I get the principle, I understand what they are trying to do and the concept but it's a strange one," he says.

"Do you allow people to over-budget, knowing they have a fall back? That is my only concern. Do I think that having a pile of cash if something fails is the answer?

"Other teams and clubs are working hard behind the scenes to bring in money, with the exception of Cork and Dundalk as they have earned the European money, everyone else has worked really hard to bring in money so we need to be careful we are not giving people a free crack at it.

"It's the very early stages and the positive is that we are talking about it. People need to sit down and talk. The positive is that we are talking now, how can we put something in place."

Bradley learned from a chat with AIK's manager that open forums were common in Sweden.

"Why don't we invite every team's manager and coaches in and have an open debate. Speaking to the Swedish manager, it's something they do regularly and more comes out of it, over here you defend your club but the bigger picture is trying to develop Irish football, there's no harm in inviting every manager in the league in to talk.

"I am sure a lot would come out of it, I am not saying we'd have all the answers but ideas would come out of it."