Following a meeting of its Board, the Football Association of Ireland today (June 18) expressed its disappointment at the decision of Monaghan United to withdraw from the Airtricity League Premier Division.
The Association regrets that the club has taken this decision at this time and is disappointed that the matter was not discussed with the League prior to the announcement.
Under the Airtricity League participation agreement no club is permitted to withdraw from the agreement or cease participation other than by relegation or a decision of the FAI Board to terminate the agreement. Following its meeting, the FAI Board will now terminate the agreement with Monaghan United.
Consequently, the results of Monaghan United in the Premier Division this season have been expunged. Under the terms of the participation agreement the players at Monaghan United will be declared free agents with immediate effect
Monaghan United had qualified for the Third round of the FAI Ford Cup and one club will now receive a bye in that draw, which takes place on Monday, July 16. The fixtures for that round are due to be played on week-ending, Sunday, August 26.
The FAI Board and the National League Executive Committee highlighted their disappointment at Monaghan United's decision particularly since the club has received significant support from the FAI and the National League including a facility development loan for €150,000 of which over €100,000 is still outstanding as well as a €25,000 grant to the club in 2009 during its AGM in Monaghan and assistance in securing Sports Capital Grants for the club.
The FAI Participation Agreement rules and FAI Ford Cup rules relating to instances of this nature are included below.
Cessation of Involvement during a Season
18.1 If any Participant Club ceases to participate in the League or has its Agreement terminated under the termination clause for any reason during a season then its playing record shall be expunged from the record. For the avoidance of doubt, expunging the playing record means all points accumulated by and goals for and against recorded by clubs competing against the club that has ceased to participate shall be deleted from the records. Disciplinary matters are not included and records of members, officials, players accruing suspensions, disciplinary points and / or serving suspensions or any other sanction will be retained.
18.2 In the event that there is a reduction in the number of Participant Clubs in a Division, the number of relegation and/or relegation play-off places relevant to that Division shall be reduced by the same number.
19.30 At the end of the 2012 Season, the twelfth placed Club in the Premier Division League Championship shall be relegated to the First Division League Championship for the 2013 Season and the first placed Club in the First Division League Championship shall be promoted to the Premier Division League championship for the 2013 Season.
19.31 At the end of the 2012 Season, a Promotion / Relegation Play-Off series shall take place as follows: The second placed Club in the First Division League Championship shall play the third placed Club in the First Division League Championship in a two leg Play-off with the second placed Club having home advantage for the second leg. The winner of this First Division Play-off shall play the eleventh placed Club in the Premier Division League Championship. The Play-off shall be over two legs with the order of home advantage to be decided by the drawing of lots. The winners of the two legged tie shall qualify to compete in the Premier Division League Championship in the 2013 season.
This means that none of the remaining eleven Clubs will be relegated and the eleventh placed Club will enter the play-off.
FAI Ford Cup
Monaghan United defeated Sligo Rovers in the Second Round of the FAI Ford Cup but cannot be replaced. The Third Round draw will take place on Monday, 16th July.
9.Cessation of Involvement during a Season
If any Club ceases to participate in the Competition for any reason during a season then the Club whom it is drawn against in the next tie shall be awarded a forfeit victory and progress to the next round of the Competition. If any Club ceases to participate in the Competition for any reason during a season and before the draw for the next round ties takes place, it shall not be replaced in the Competition by any other Club. A bye or byes, as applicable, shall be drawn. Disciplinary matters and records of members, officials, players accruing suspensions, disciplinary points and/or serving suspensions or any other sanction relating to the Club ceasing involvement will be retained.
All remaining 15 Clubs in the Cup are eligible to receive the bye as none previously received a bye.