Irish Cup Club Statement
Ballinamallard United FC note yesterday’s announcement by the Irish FA that the Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup will go ahead in the month of May this year.
The Irish Cup is of course a prestigious competition and one that Clubs generally look forward to competing in with awe.
As this is the first we heard of the proposal, as a Club we will now need to consider a way forward, particularly in practical terms.
We have always put the health and welfare of everyone involved at the club as our main priority, which has been evident during the Covid pandemic. This will continue to be the situation, therefore we need to be realistic about what is achievable and practical.
Many players in the Championship and PIL haven’t played a competitive game since 7th March last year, that will be almost 14 months until the 1st May when the first Irish Cup game is scheduled.
Is this a reasonable ask? Would that be safe and practical for a significant group of players?
The Championship and PIL have been let down by the authorities for not being granted elite status and allowed to play in similar schedules to their colleagues in the premiership, therefore if the Irish FA want to make the Irish Cup credible they have a responsibility to work with NIFL and government to ensure the Clubs from those two divisions, that have been side-lined for the past year get back training in mid-March and have a competitive tournament commencing in April to facilitate a reputable Irish Cup competition.