Author Topic: Should/could Belfast have it's own professional soccer team Gerry want's to know  (Read 5939 times)

James James

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No, not that Gerry,... BF member Gerry Mcevoy.

Gerry is discussing the possibility that it might be practical for Belfast to have it's own professional soccer team which would be capable of competing in a league on the U.K. mainland,... and he wants to know your views about that possibility.

He's discussing that topic on the Sport & Activities in Belfast section of the forum.

http://www.belfastforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,67699.0.html

These are a few of his comments from his post.

"Would there be much support for a Belfast team to join for example, the North West Counties Football League in England? "

"Belfast must be one of the biggest cities in Europe without a full time professional football team."

"Belfast United FC for the premiership in ten years?"

doare.

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would be an idea to consider, lots of choices from both communities, could be an expression of unity and an example of integration....would love to see it...sure would have its issues, money for good players ...bring it on..
"You see things; you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not? ....shaw..

James James

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would be an idea to consider, lots of choices from both communities, could be an expression of unity and an example of integration....would love to see it...sure would have its issues, money for good players ...bring it on..
Exactly so,... very good points,... that same thought had occurred to me, and for once, it might well give people an opportunity, and a reason, for being in agreement about something for once, and in particular for having an opportunity for direct personal social contact and involvement and interaction, that the fans probably wouldn't have otherwise had, and which many probably would never otherwise have wanted.

Did anybody in or from Ulster ever not have great regard for George and Barry for example, (although I suppose that Ulster being Ulster, a very few might not have), and did anyone ever try to use their participation in sport in a more socially and politically positive and constructive and inclusive way than Barry always did. ?

Who in Ulster, (although I'm sure that there must have been at least six people who probably did), ever watched one of Barry's bouts and gave any relevance or even much consideration, to what his religious affiliation was. ?

gerry mcevoy

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The new team would not be doing anything that hasnt already been done by other teams previously.
Clubs like Fleetwood Town were in the NWCFL around 6/7 years ago, United of Manchester fc are progressing through the pyramid structure at an impressive rate also and AFC Wimbledon a supporter owned club have been very successful in regaining their league status after the MK Dons debacle.
Guernsey FC, the first team from outside the UK mainland to join the english pyramid system, have a deal where they cover the transport costs and a nights accomodation for their opponents away fixture in Guernsey.  I think it is for 25 persons. Obviously the Belfast club would need to provide a similar arrangement.


James James

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You present very convincing arguments in favour of it Gerry, perhaps you should consider going into the soccer management business yourself and setting up a Belfast team, and at least a few of the BF members might be willing to give a bit of help with the catering and the laundry and the ground keeping,... and there sure are also often a few lemons that get sucked on this burg at times.  :)

doare.

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Exactly so,... very good points,... that same thought had occurred to me, and for once, it might well give people an opportunity, and a reason, for being in agreement about something for once, and in particular for having an opportunity for direct personal social contact and involvement and interaction, that the fans probably wouldn't have otherwise had, and which many probably would never otherwise have wanted.

Did anybody in or from Ulster ever not have great regard for George and Barry for example, (although I suppose that Ulster being Ulster, a very few might not have), and did anyone ever try to use their participation in sport in a more socially and politically positive and constructive and inclusive way than Barry always did. ?

Who in Ulster, (although I'm sure that there must have been at least six people who probably did), ever watched one of Barry's bouts and gave any relevance or even much consideration, to what his religious affiliation was. ?
I believe there were ice hockey teams in Belfast a few years back, manyof the players were from Canada, they may not have gone too high in the leagues here, yet!, they were crossing the divide I think, I could be wrong, I am not a great ice hockey fan myself, nevertheless you get my point.  
"You see things; you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not? ....shaw..

Orior

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If Glasgow Celtic want to improve in Europe they need to join the english championship and win promotion to the premier league. Celtic and the club previously known as Rangers.

A few year ago Wimbledon considered moving to Dublin. I think there is more chance of that happening than in Belfast.

Belfast soccer is just too difficult and too dangerous.

Why does Lisburn not have a soccer stadium and a soccer team?
Cover me in chocolate and feed me to the lesbians

jmac

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If Glasgow Celtic want to improve in Europe they need to join the english championship and win promotion to the premier league. Celtic and the club previously known as Rangers.

A few year ago Wimbledon considered moving to Dublin. I think there is more chance of that happening than in Belfast.

Belfast soccer is just too difficult and too dangerous.

Why does Lisburn not have a soccer stadium and a soccer team?
http://uk.soccerway.com/teams/northern-ireland/lisburn-distillery-fc/1570/

Illegitimi Non Carborundum.

Ubique

gerry mcevoy

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If Glasgow Celtic want to improve in Europe they need to join the english championship and win promotion to the premier league. Celtic and the club previously known as Rangers.

A few year ago Wimbledon considered moving to Dublin. I think there is more chance of that happening than in Belfast.

Belfast soccer is just too difficult and too dangerous.

Why does Lisburn not have a soccer stadium and a soccer team?
The success of the springbok rugby team in helping unite South Africa would be a good example of how sport can help unite people. Ulster rugby has done a good job of bridging the divide, I think things have improved a hell of a lot in twenty years, hopefully the next twenty will bring more improvements.

Orior

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Cover me in chocolate and feed me to the lesbians

hungry homer

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The success of the springbok rugby team in helping unite South Africa would be a good example of how sport can help unite people. Ulster rugby has done a good job of bridging the divide, I think things have improved a hell of a lot in twenty years, hopefully the next twenty will bring more improvements.

Gerry, In my opinion there are a number of problems facing any potential "Belfast United" team applying for membership of the English League.

The first one would be that it could finish off the Irish League as the potential for seeing a higher grade of football would turn people away from following an Irish League side and I can't see the football authorities here wanting to see their local product destroyed.

Secondly,The big cross channel clubs have a significant following of supporters here and I couldn't see someone here who follows Man U, Liverpool or Chelsea throwing their lot in with a new club starting off in the lowest divisions of English football.

Thirdly, where would this new Belfast team play their home games? The IFA certainly wouldn't want them at Windsor Park and given the problems the GAA have with their plan to redevelop Casement Park and Glentoran's on-going saga of looking for a venue other than the Oval, it's going to be difficult to see where a new stadium could be located.

Hope I haven't rained on your parade!

gerry mcevoy

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The biggest problem would definitley be convincing the IFA. There were tentative approaches made to them shortly after Guernsey FC began their journey, which were quickly rebuffed.
Personally, I think if a new club was to be formed it would need its own facilities. Most of the new modern stadiums are used 7 days a week using various schemes as generating income as opposed to a match day income every fortnight during the football season.
The recent phenomonen of selling the naming rights of football grounds is also a signifigant sponsorship income.
Also because the club would be in level 10, of the pyramid system the initial ground requirements would be relatively modest and as the club progresses, investment in its facilities would obviously have to be budgeted for. There would need to be a ten year program for the club in developing facilities and underage teams etc.
Of course there will be obstacles in the way but that would just be part of the challenge.

stickleback

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No, not that Gerry,... BF member Gerry Mcevoy.

Gerry is discussing the possibility that it might be practical for Belfast to have it's own professional soccer team which would be capable of competing in a league on the U.K. mainland,... and he wants to know your views about that possibility.

He's discussing that topic on the Sport & Activities in Belfast section of the forum.

http://www.belfastforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,67699.0.html

These are a few of his comments from his post.

"Would there be much support for a Belfast team to join for example, the North West Counties Football League in England? "

"Belfast must be one of the biggest cities in Europe without a full time professional football team."

"Belfast United FC for the premiership in ten years?"

This is an absolute no-brainer NO.

The entire population of Belfast is no bigger than Manchester and the entire match-going public in N. Ireland could safely fit into one corner of Old Trafford. In fact, it wou. ldn't even fill a corner. That's before we even start talking costs. Or quality. Are there even any billionaires in Northern Ireland ? It not only takes funds, but a huge ego to run a professional football club because in most cases it is a loss-maker. The costs inherent in flying a club to every game with no derby matches to look forward to would be a deal-breaker even if N. Ireland had a competitive football league, which it doesn't, unless you mean amateur level. Look at Scotland. They have a professional league and most of the clubs are skint. It would certainly be a lot easier and make much more sense for Celtic or Rangers to join the English leagues, though they would both lose a fortune in doing so as neither would remotely have a chance of reaching The Champions League if they were up against the English clubs for qualification. For fans, football is about passion. They live in a dreamworld. But businesses don't function as dreams alone and you better believe that football is actually a business. You are right when you say that a professional Belfast club would have to start at the bottom rung of the ladder. How many people in Belfast are going to don their raincoats of a wet January evening and pay their hard earned to watch Belfast FC v Dulwich Hamlet ? Maybe a few hundred die-hards. I can't imagine too many from Belfast will be shelling out a couple of hundred quid to watch the return fixture.

James James

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Jeeze, stadiums and venues and so on, with all the money that the local politicos were blowing on their failed energy scheme, there must be, or at least might have been, some spare funds for something like that, and it certainly could be linked to the peace process, so it would probably at least get some serious consideration, but of course at present, Euro grants aren't likely to be available.

gerry mcevoy

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This is an absolute no-brainer NO.

The entire population of Belfast is no bigger than Manchester and the entire match-going public in N. Ireland could safely fit into one corner of Old Trafford. In fact, it wou. ldn't even fill a corner. That's before we even start talking costs. Or quality. Are there even any billionaires in Northern Ireland ? It not only takes funds, but a huge ego to run a professional football club because in most cases it is a loss-maker. The costs inherent in flying a club to every game with no derby matches to look forward to would be a deal-breaker even if N. Ireland had a competitive football league, which it doesn't, unless you mean amateur level. Look at Scotland. They have a professional league and most of the clubs are skint. It would certainly be a lot easier and make much more sense for Celtic or Rangers to join the English leagues, though they would both lose a fortune in doing so as neither would remotely have a chance of reaching The Champions League if they were up against the English clubs for qualification. For fans, football is about passion. They live in a dreamworld. But businesses don't function as dreams alone and you better believe that football is actually a business. You are right when you say that a professional Belfast club would have to start at the bottom rung of the ladder. How many people in Belfast are going to don their raincoats of a wet January evening and pay their hard earned to watch Belfast FC v Dulwich Hamlet ? Maybe a few hundred die-hards. I can't imagine too many from Belfast will be shelling out a couple of hundred quid to watch the return fixture.
If the team was to be marketed right Im sure it could catch the attention of the local sporting public.
Because the team would be starting at level 10, promotion through the initial leagues should be rapid. This could actually be a benefit because a winning team attracts support and attention and momentum.
In the second season, the club would be eligible to play in the fa cup, which Im sure you can imagine would generate a lot of media coverage, even if it was in the very early stages of it.
15-20 years ago Ulster rugby would have attracted a couple of hundred hardy souls for the inter provincials against munster, leinster and connacht but the relatively new professional era has captured a whole new audience, strong support and identity and I believe a football team could command similar backing and following if the structures were in place.