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The League of Ireland – what makes us tick?

The 3th of August 2017, a day when transfer spending was in the quarter of a billion euro’s range.

Kelechi Iheanacho moved to Leicester City for £25 million pounds, at the time of writing roughly converts to €27.5 million. If you add that to the €225 million pound buyout clause on Neymar’s contract the quarter of a billion mark is exceeded.

I can recall last year on my summer holidays strolling through the streets of Chester where army recruitment posters where lined outside the offices, offering salaries of approximately £19,500 per year if I remember correctly.

Soldier’s salaries, men and woman who give their life for their country only earning a percentage of professional footballer’s wages.

Speaking to my cousin, a man with a love of sport and great knowledge happened to mention the transfer fee and one which he described as a figure that could “cure poverty”.

From a personal experience at school you use metaphors to try re-enforce your argument yet this metaphor has a more significant meaning to it than an argument.

I wonder sometimes how one person can be valued at such an extortionate price only using ‘a skill’ to make a living, carpenters, plumbers doing the same who are called upon day in day out.

A 9 figure fee that ordinary men and woman may work for ten years for and such a substantial amount can be transferred to a bank account immediately.

So where does the league of Ireland fit into my piece? A country like Ireland in my opinion and certainly in the eyes of many others also, is one that exhibits it’s nationalism like no other race, proud of history and heritage, appreciative and honoured of what they live for.

If you take the 20 clubs that make up the top two divisions of Irish football it’s evident that no suitcases of cash are changing hands going up and down the motorways within the country.

With the exception of a couple of teams in the higher ‘financial bracket’, players may be working from 8 or 9 am until 5 then have to turn up to training, only working to pay bills yet have such a level of dedication to the beautiful game they still devote themselves to the cause.

The cause being a football club ran by volunteers with a mutual affection, a small portion of who support their side regardless of the result, regardless of the distance from home that the game may be on but still travel length & width of the country to see their team.

From a personal viewpoint, I work to be able to do things and go places, to have some enjoyment in life yet the ‘upper class’ who earn over €50,000 a week complain about a problem on the training pitch with another team mate and all of a sudden have ended up halfway across the world .

Neymar has shook the world and been featured countless times on social media over the past 7 days but where does the League of Ireland gain coverage from? National outlets but when you leave the emerald isle, football within the island isn’t spoke about at all, almost non-existent.

Endless times I have mentioned how “football is my religion and Finn Park is my church” yet only a handful can adopt the phrase as one of their own.

One of my favourite comparisons is that of a foundation with a house, everything is built on a foundation and surely clubs can learn from each other and follow an example successfully set out,

The League of Ireland is growing and figures have proven that over the past year so let’s learn from this transfer and reward the hard work and loyalty that so many put into their local club,

This is the League of Ireland and will never be taken away from us.

Connor McGinty

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