D-day for Harps and League of Ireland clubs as FAI set to announce key financial package

Harps could be in line for a payment in the region of €50,000

D Day for Harps

Finn Park, Ballybofey - home of Harps PICTURE: THOMAS GALLAGHER

Today is D-Day for Airtricity League clubs as they are set to find out more about the FAI’s financial package for clubs and what lies in store for the rest of the year.
Cash-strapped clubs will be hoping that FAI funding - with UEFA support - could at least alleviate some of the financial headaches thrust upon them due to the suspension of the season as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
It has been speculated that Finn Harps could be in line for a payment in the region of €50,000 and that a pot in excess of €1m is available between the 19 senior clubs.
However, while the easing of restrictions could see Harps resume training next week, the nature of the season ahead will be looked at in detail.
All the indications are the current 2020 season will be completed, but it will be shortened down to just 18 games. Harps have already played four.
But one of the biggest issues revolves around how and when the remaining games will be played. While the use of certain venues for games behind closed doors has been flagged (Harps could be asked to play at Athlone Town Stadium for “home” games), this inevitably raises issues.
Developments will be watched with interest.

Harps boss Ollie Horgan

Meanwhile, Finn Harps were in the black for 2019 - but the way ahead could be very tough indeed, especially in light of the uncertainty over the resumption of the Airtricity League after the Covid-19 lockdown.
The club is understood to have made a profit last year of €19,180 in a season that saw them retaining their Premier Division status, having overcome Drogheda United in the promotion/relegation play-off.
Prudent management of the club finances enabled it to meet day to day expenditure and ultimately record a small surplus. The year before, 2018, when Harps got promoted, they made a profit of €16,767.
In a club statement this week, treasurer Lorna McHugh said the latest accounts will be presented to shareholders at an AGM once this becomes feasible.
She added: “Obviously it’s positive to show a profit, which shows we stick to a plan and live within our means, but it’s important to note that that’s just a snapshot of income and expenditure over 12 months, and doesn’t represent money in the bank.

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