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"I don't think Dundalk would be in a rush to give away their European money" - Vinny Perth


Dundalk manager Vinny Perth says the club would be "very cautious" about the idea of giving away their prize money for competing in Europe to other clubs in the SSE Airtricity League.

Football's shutdown has hit the League of Ireland with Waterford, Cork, St Pat's and Sligo Rovers unable to pay their players' wages while the Shamrock Rovers squad have take a 25 per cent cut to their salaries.

With games unlikely to return until at least late July and the prospect of those matches being behind closed doors, it's been suggested that Derry City, Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians and reigning champions Dundalk could share their European windfall to struggling clubs.

But Lillywhites boss Perth has told Off The Ball that he feels it would be unfair on his club to be expected to give away a major source of their income:

"To be fair, there's an argument for that...The problem we have now is that we have huge inequality in our league. Tallaght Stadium is a council owned facility, so we're not all playing on a level playing field, Derry City's stadium is a council facility, Cork City is owned by the Munster FA, Waterford is basically a council owned facility.

"We have the council providing funding for Bohemians and Shelbourne at the moment which is brilliant and I welcome it. I live in the Tallaght area and what a brilliant addition to the area the stadium is, it just helps so much having so many young fans walking around in Rovers  jerseys. It kills me sometimes but it's great in another sense.

"We're not a level playing field so I don't think Dundalk would be in a rush to give away their European money until we're playing on a level playing field and funding for everybody is equal. We haven't had funding from the Louth council in any shape or form to help us develop our ground. We would have to be very cautious of that approach.

"As a League of Ireland man I understand that question but speaking on behalf of Dundalk, we have to be very careful.

Perth has also urged clubs, the FAI and Airtricity League to explore every option "to within an inch of its life" to resume the league later this year:

"I'm very concerned when we say 'we can't do anything' and we just wash our hands of it. David has made the point that gate recipients aren't what drive a club, it's funding. It's not all about finances but ultimately it's going to be a case of everyone in the league taking advice from the HSE about where we are and when we're able to play football.

"From what I can see they've given us some dates to work towards and some clubs don't seem to want to work towards those dates for whatever reason, things like insurance. Why would a football club need insurance over a building site? Over a local Tesco or garage?

"We're very early to be dismissing trying anything. The world is changing and every week there's different scenarios, things being thrown at us, things improving. They may disimprove and we may not play football this year but the document laid out by the HSE clearly states that football can take place in and around stage five.

"People have dismissed behind closed doors and maybe it won't work, and I'm not sitting in any 'ivory tower' in Dundalk saying let's just back to playing football, far from it. But we have to try and explore everything to within an inch of its life because for too long the League of Ireland was accused of not trying anything different."



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