Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan said the Airtricity League needs to consider compensating clubs when matches are postponed to accommodate sides playing in European competition.
Horgan said it doesn’t seem fair that a club like Harps should be penalised financially by the loss of gate receipts when matches against the league’s leading clubs are called off.
His comments come after Harps’ fixture against Cork City last Friday night was postponed due to Cork’s involvement in the Europa League.
Harps were also due to play Dundalk in Oriel Park next month but that match has already been cancelled because of Dundalk’s ongoing Champions League run.
Earlier this season, Harps were ordered to reschedule their game away to St. Patrick’s Athletic because of a clash with a European fixture.
“Fair play to Cork City. It’s fantastic to see them doing so well in Europe and long may it continue,” Horgan said.
“But when you think about it, they stand to make around a quarter of a million euro for qualifying in the Europa League. We’d have taken in a decent gate from our game if it had gone ahead on Friday night. But we’ve now lost that gate and the game will probably now be played on a Tuesday night when we won’t get anything near the crowd that would have been there the other night.
“Dundalk stand to make three quarters of a million euro from their run in the Champions League and there will be more if they keep winning. Good luck to them, it’s great to see them doing so well. But it just means the gap between the top two in the league and the rest of the clubs will only get bigger.
“Maybe the time has come for the league to consider compensating the clubs who lose out when games like this are called off to accommodate the clubs in Europe.”
Earier this season Harps had no home game for five weeks during which time the league took a mid-season break during the Euros
“We rely on our gate receipts for income,” the Harps boss added. “And we’re not the only club who have had to deal with these problems. Galway United had no home game for seven weeks.
“We were actually back training on the Monday night that Ireland played their first match against Sweden. I’d say other clubs were in the same position as ourselves. There was no need to take a break for three weeks.”
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