This looks like a proverbial can of worms. The Irish News reports that a complex points system “scored on various criteria, including facilities, underage structures, financial planning, coaching aptitude and success on the field” has seen Donegal Celtic excluded from a reduced IFA Premier League next year, despite them effectively finishing five places ahead of Bangor, who gained promotion from the Intermediate league. Understandably, the manager is livid:
Wed 610 points last year and weve 543 points this year, so somebody has got their sums wrong, slammed Bonner. Every obstacle that has been put in front of us weve jumped it. Now, Ill have to stand in front of 380 members and tell them we got to the semi-finals of the Irish Cup and that we finished in 11th place, but were no longer in senior football because there is a team [Bangor] in ahead of us who have not competed at senior level for 12 years. [Emphasis added]
Hmmm… It looks like the IFA may have some explaining to do… Bonner adds to the intrigue when he reveals there is a dispute between the IFA and the Sports Council over £800,000 supposedly ear marked for ground improvements at Celtic.
Adds: It should be noted that fifth-placed Portadown also lose the place in the top flight for not filling in their forms in time. Bureaucracy gone mad!!
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty