Cobh Ramblers set for League of Ireland return

Cobh Ramblers look set to return to the First Division in 2013 after a four-year absence from the League of Ireland
Cork club Cobh Rambers are in talks with the FAI and PFAI and could be in line for a return to the Airtricity League next season to compete in the First Division.

Ramblers were relegated to the A Championship in 2009 due to financial troubles, but had applied to compete in the League of Ireland for the 2012 season. Once again, they are in discussions with the FAI, and look close to a return due to the fact there are currently only seven teams confirmed for the 2013 First Division.

Tralee Dynamos are also rumoured to be in talks about stepping up to the First Division, with PFAI chief executive Stephen McGuinness telling about the ongoing talks. “We’re in discussions with the FAI at the moment and I would be surprised if there’s not more teams in the First Division next season,” McGuinness said. “We’re in discussions with them currently on some teams that owe money to former players and that might be a stumbling block to them coming into the league.

"We’re in discussions with the FAI to try and overcome some of those problems to ensure that there is another one or two teams in the division. That ultimately will give employment to some of our members and also make that league more attractive for supporters and sponsors and people in general."

The dissolution of Monaghan United in June has seen Limerick FC promoted to the Premier Division, with no team relegated to take their place. McGuinness pointed out that this situation was far from ideal, and that the FAI and PFAI were looking to fill the void. “With seven teams, you don’t need to be a rocket scientists to see that it doesn’t work," he admitted. "It’s in our interest to get teams that may have fallen out in the last couple of years back in, but that has to be done on the premise that monies that are owed to former players are honoured.

“We would be open enough to discuss them with the FAI and with the individual clubs involved. Hopefully we’ll see more than seven teams in that division in the next couple of weeks.”