Finn Harps to meet with Ollie Horgan to discuss future on Monday

Finn Harps to meet with Ollie Horgan to discuss future on Monday

The Finn Harps board is set to meet with manager Ollie Horgan on Monday for discussions about his position - and the club’s for next season.

It’s a minor miracle that Harps have survived to play again in the Premier Division next season.

But the undoubted big issue up for discussion is the club’s relative lack of income, and the constant battle it faces to compete at the top level.

Horgan, who has presided over three play-off wins during his time with Harps, has made it quite clear that they simply must raise additional revenue.

As things stands, all the indications are that Harps will be the minnows again in terms of expenditure next season.

Division One champions Shelbourne, who have been promoted, will be hell bent on staying up and will invest considerably in a bid to stay up.

While money is not everything, the final league positions increasingly mirror the financial clout of the clubs.

The plight facing Finn Harps is that they just aren’t at the races in terms of their income and expenditure - despite the hard-grafting of a small core of dedicated individuals.

As one club insider explained, Harps expenditure on wages this year was in the region of €6,000 - €7,000 a week. By comparison one of the clubs in the bottom half of the table was forking out between €15,000 and €22,000 at different times during the season.

As he remarked: “We are a mile behind everyone else. The nearest club in terms of expenditure are probably paying €10,000 a week more than us.”

Even if Harps double their expenditure - and boost their squad - it will still be a scrap to avoid the drop.

At the other end of the scale, €40,000 a week (or €2 million a year) on salaries will not guarantee Premier Division success, but it will certainly put you in with a shout. That;s the gulf that exists.

Harps, essentially a part-time set-up, not only struggle to make ends meet to play their players - but they simply can’t match the offers of other clubs should anyone else be tempted to move in on a player.

Every Harps player in the squad - with the possible exception of one individual - is now out of contract.

But until the managerial position is tied down, nobody will be re-signed.

The biggest problem for the club is just how it can boost income.

Horgan is widely admired for Harps sides that have consistently punched above their weight.

His enthusiasm for the game is so obvious, but he is also hugely frustrated with the limitations facing him.

One wonders what he could do with greater resources at his disposal.

And that is something, no doubt, that some other clubs are also wondering.

The next few weeks will be very, very important for the club.

The last thing it wants is not to have a manager confirmed for 2020.

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