League of Ireland Premier Division
The division was formed in 1985 following a reorganisation of the League of Ireland. St. Patricks Athletic and Bohemians are the only current League of Ireland clubs never to have been relegated from the Premier Division, since 2003 the Premier Division has operated as a summer league. The inaugural members of the Premier Division included the League of Irelands traditional top four clubs – Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers were the inaugural champions and then retained the title in 1986–87. This saw Rovers complete a four in a row of league titles, Dundalk were champions in 1987–88 and Derry City achieved a treble in 1988–89 by also winning the League of Ireland Cup and the FAI Cup. The 1990s saw the re-emergence of St Patricks Athletic following years of obscurity, during the decade St Pats won four titles. Brian Kerr guided the club to success in 1989–90 and 1995–96 before Pat Dolan and Liam Buckley added further titles in 1997–98, the 1992–93 season saw Cork City win their first title in dramatic circumstances after a series of three-way play-offs that also involved Bohemians and Shelbourne. The turn of the century saw Shelbourne win the first of five titles in seven years, dermot Keely guided Shelbourne to the title in 1999–2000 and 2001–02. Shelbourne won the title in controversial circumstances in 2001–02 and they were only declared champions after St Patricks Athletic were deducted 15 points for fielding Charles Livingstone Mbabazi while he was ineligible. The league decided to become a league in 2003. Pat Fenlon added further titles in 2003,2004 and 2006, Fenlon had also been a prominent member of the Shelbourne playing squads in 1999–2000 and 2001–02. As a manager Fenlon would also guide Bohemians to title successes in 2008 and 2009, Cork City denied Shelbourne a third league title in a row when they claimed their second title in 2005, defeating fellow challengers Derry City in a last game decider at Turners Cross. During the second half of the decade a number of Premier Division clubs suffered financial difficulties, during the 2005 season Shamrock Rovers entered into examinership and it was revealed that the club had debts of nearly €3 million. It was also discovered that Rovers were not playing PAYE and PRSI, as a result of these financial irregularities, Rovers were deducted eight points. This ultimately resulted in the club being relegated to the First Division after they lost the playoff to Dublin City. This was the first time Rovers senior team had dropped out of the top level of the Republic of Ireland football league system since the club had joined the League of Ireland in 1922–23. During the 2006 season the Revenue Commissioners took High Court action, Shelbourne also struggled to pay its players during the season. Despite winning the title Shelbourne were subsequently demoted to the First Division due to their financial difficulties, midway through the season Dublin City also went out of business and withdrew from the league, unable to complete the season. During the 2008 season both Cork City and Drogheda United were deducted ten points going into administration
Shelbourne Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Drumcondra, Dublin, who play in the League of Ireland First Division. Shelbourne were founded in Dublin in 1895, in 1904 the club joined the Irish Football League, which was then an all Ireland competition, before becoming founding members of the League of Ireland in 1921. Shelbourne have won the league 13 times and are one of three clubs to have won both the IFA Cup and the FAI Cup and they play their home matches at Tolka Park, in the Dublin suburb of Drumcondra. The club colours are red and white, with home jerseys being predominantly red. Shels is the clubs most common nickname, an abbreviation of Shelbourne, in the 2004/2005 European season, Shelbourne became the first Irish club to reach the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. Their performances in European competition and former striker Jason Byrne being capped for the Republic of Ireland whilst with the club, the club lost their Premier Division licence for the 2007 season due to the clubs debt situation. Since then, Shelbourne have mainly played in the tier of the League of Ireland. Shelbourne Football Club was formed in 1895 in the Ringsend area of Dublin by a group of men led by Mr. James Rowan, the club took its name from the nearby Shelbourne Road. The clubs first pitch was at Havelock Square just behind the stand at the present day Aviva Stadium. Shelbournes second season was their first in competitive competition, Shelbourne played 28 matches, won 25, drew 2 and lost only 1. Their goal tally was 109 for and 15 against, Shelbourne won the principal junior competitions, the Leinster Junior Cup and League Championship. The club decided to enter the ranks for the 1897–98 Season and reached the Leinster Senior Cup Final at their first attempt. They also finished runners-up in the Leinster Senior League, the club won their first Leinster Senior Cup in 1899/1900, Shelbourne won the competition again in 1901 and 1904. The club made it into the Final of the IFA Cup in 1905 but were beaten by Distillery, in 1906 Shelbourne player Val Harris became the clubs first player to line out for Ireland. Shelbourne reached the IFA Cup Final again in 1907 and 1908 but were beaten on both occasion in replays against Cliftonville and Bohemians, in 1907 Shelbourne were also Irish Football League runners-up to Linfield. They won the Leinster Senior Cup again in 1908 and 1909, in 1909 Shelbourne were City Cup winners and finished 3rd place in the Irish Football League, behind champions Linfield and Glentoran. In 1911 Shelbourne won the IFA Cup for their second time, Shelbourne won the Leinster Senior Cup again in 1913 and 1914. Shelbourne were 1914 Gold Cup runners-up, and then winners in 1915, Shelbourne were Leinster Senior Cup winners again in 1917 and 1919
Athlone Town A.F.C.
Athlone Town Football Club is an Irish football club from Athlone who are playing in the League of Ireland. The club is the oldest in the League as it was founded in 1887, First elected to the League of Ireland in 1922, they play their home matches in Lissywollen their new stadium which opened in 2007. The clubs colours are blue and black, Athlone first competed in the League of Ireland in the 1922–23 season finishing sixth. They were the first non-Dublin club in the Irish Free State to compete in the national Free State League and they competed in the league until 1928 and not again until the 1969–70 season. Athlone Town won the FAI Cup, their first domestic success in 1924, dinny Hannon scored the only goal of the game, as Athlone went through the whole competition without conceding a goal. Hannon was one of five Athlone Town players chosen to represent the Irish Free State at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games, the other players were Tommy Muldoon, Frank Ghent, John Joe Dykes and Paddy OReilly. The club finished second in the league in the 1974–75 season earning a place in the UEFA Cup and their first round game was against Norwegian side Vålerenga who they beat. Athlones second round tie was against Italian side AC Milan drawing 0–0 in the first leg at St. Mels Park setting an attendance of 9,000 before losing the second leg at the San Siro 3–0. Athlone won their first league title in the 1980–81 season and they played KB in Europe the following season earning a draw in the first leg in Denmark and again at St. Mels Park going out on the away goal rule. In the 1981–82 season Athlone Town won the League Cup for the time beating Shamrock Rovers. However they failed to retain their title that year finishing 4th. Athlone Town were again crowned champions in the 1982–83 season and qualifying for Europe. Their opponents in Europe on this occasion were Belgian outfit Raymond Goethals managed Standard Liège, losing 3–2 at home, in 1985 six new clubs were elected to the league increasing the leagues participation to 22. As a result, the current two division structure was adapted with Athlone Town in Premier Division, in 1987 the club finished last and were relegated to the First Division. Their stay there was short, finishing top of First Division the following season, the club remained in the top flight until the 1991–92 season, when they finished eleventh and were subsequently relegated to the First Division. Athlone Town again gained promotion to the Premier Division in the 1993–94 season, the club were once again relegated in 1996, narrowly missing out on promotion in 2001 by one point to Monaghan United. Since 2001 Athlone have finished each season in the half of the first division. In that time eight different managers have been appointed, in 2007 the club moved from St Mels Park to a new stadium, which was opened on 9 March when the home side hosted Kilkenny City in the opening game of the season
Galway United F.C.
Galway United Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Galway. They play in the League of Ireland Premier Division and they were founded as Galway Rovers F. C. during the 1930s. They made their League of Ireland debut in 1977–78 and changed their name to Galway United in 1981–82. After suffering financial difficulties, the club dropped out of the League of Ireland after the 2011 season, Galway United F. C. were founded as Galway Rovers F. C. in the Claddagh district of Galway. The clubs website claims the club was founded in 1937, however, according to a Galway Advertiser report, the club was active in 1933, winning a local junior competition known as the Celtic Shield. By 1937 Rovers were fielding youth teams as well as a junior side, Rovers won the Connacht Junior Cup in 1958 and they also played in the Western League. Rovers first gained attention when they were invited to play in the 1976–77 League of Ireland Cup. In 1977–78 they made their debut in the League of Ireland and they played their first League of Ireland game on 28 August 1977 at Terryland Park against St. Patricks Athletic. Eamonn Deacy scored Rovers first League of Ireland goal on 2 October 1977, in 1980–81 Rovers reached the final of the League of Ireland Cup, but lost on penalties to Dundalk. In the 1981–82 season, Galway Rovers changed their name to Galway United and under their new name, United made their first appearance in an FAI Cup final in 1984–85 but lost 1–0 to Shamrock Rovers. In 1985–86 United became founder members of the League of Ireland Premier Division, in 1985–86 United won its first major trophy after defeating Dundalk 2–0 in the League of Ireland Cup final. Denis Bonner and Paul McGee scored the vital goals, Galway United made a good start to 1990s, winning their first FAI Cup and qualifying for Europe for a third time. However they spent much of the decade in the League of Ireland First Division, in the 1990–91 FAI Cup final at Lansdowne Road, United defeated Shamrock Rovers 1–0. With five minutes to go on the clock, Johnny Glynn scored a late goal, in 1995–96 United were relegated for a second time. In 1996–97 United won the League of Ireland Cup and the First Division Shield and it was the second time United had won both trophies. United remained in the First Division until 1998–99 when, under Don ORiordan, the 2000s were not a successful decade for Galway United. Ten different managers took charge of United during this era and, in 2001–02 United were relegated to the League of Ireland First Division and they did not return to the Premier Division until 2007 In April 2005 United appointed Nick Leeson as commercial manager. He then became manager in late November 2005 and by July 2007 he had become the clubs CEO
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations and contested by top-division European clubs. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, the UEFA Champions League final is the most watched annual sporting event worldwide. The final of the 2012–13 tournament had the highest TV ratings to date, the pre-1992 competition was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each country. During the 1990s, the format was expanded, incorporating a round-robin group stage to include clubs that finished runner-up of some nations top-level league. Clubs that finish next-in-line in each top level league, having not qualified for the UEFA Champions League competition. In its present format, the UEFA Champions League begins in mid-July with three qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams enter the stage, joining 22 other teams qualified in advance. The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams, the eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in May. The winner of the UEFA Champions League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup, Real Madrid is the most successful club in the competitions history, having won the tournament 11 times, including its first five seasons. Spanish clubs have accumulated the highest number of victories, followed by England, the competition has been won by 22 different clubs,12 of which have won it more than once. Since the tournament changed name and structure in 1992, no club has managed consecutive wins, Milan were the last holders to defend their title. The reigning champions are Real Madrid, who secured their title in the competition after defeating Atlético Madrid on penalties following a 1–1 draw in the 2016 final. The first pan-European tournament was the Challenge Cup, a competition between clubs in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Mitropa Cup, a competition modelled after the Challenge Cup, was created in 1927, an idea of Austrian Hugo Meisl, and played between Central European clubs. In 1930, the Coupe des Nations, the first attempt to create a cup for national clubs of Europe, was played and organised by Swiss club Servette. Held in Geneva, it brought together ten champions from across the continent, the tournament was won by Újpest of Hungary. Latin European nations came together to form the Latin Cup in 1949 and it was conceived in Paris in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs Cup. The first edition of the European Cup took place during the 1955–56 season, the first European Cup match took place on 4 September 1955, and ended in a 3–3 draw between Sporting CP and Partizan. The first goal in European Cup history was scored by João Baptista Martins of Sporting CP, the inaugural final took place at the Parc des Princes between Stade de Reims and Real Madrid
UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League, previously called the UEFA Cup, is an annual football club competition organized by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues, previously called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, in 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase, the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and changed qualifying criteria. The winner enters at least at the round, and will enter the group stage if the berth reserved for the Champions League title holders is not used. The title has been won by 27 different clubs,12 of which have won the more than once. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971, the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup which was played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA, the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool in 1973, Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, and reach the final again in 1980. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 1976, beating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each,1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs domination, when Maradonas Napoli beat Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two finals, and in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year. 1995 saw a third final, with Parma proving their consistency. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996, Parma won the cup in 1999, which ended the Italian club era. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 2001 and Porto triumphed in the 2003 and 2011 tournaments. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, either side of Sevillas success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraines Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final, in 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year
Derry City F.C.
Derry City Football Club is a professional football club based in Derry, Northern Ireland. It plays in the League of Ireland Premier Division and it was reinstated a few weeks later but demoted to the First Division, the second tier. The club are the League of Irelands only participant from Northern Ireland, the clubs home ground is the Brandywell Stadium and the players wear red and white striped shirts from which its nickname, the Candystripes, derives. Others refer to the club as the Red and White Army or abbreviate the name to Derry or City, the club, founded in 1928, initially played in the Irish League, the domestic league in Northern Ireland, and won a title in 1964–65. In 1971, security concerns related to the Troubles meant matches could not be played at the Brandywell, the team played home fixtures 30 miles away in Coleraine. After 13 years in football, it joined the League of Irelands new First Division for 1985–86. Derry won the First Division title and achieved promotion to the Premier Division in 1987, the club won a domestic treble in 1988–89, the only League of Ireland club so far to do so. Derry City was granted entry into the Irish League in 1929 as professionals and was given permission by the Londonderry Corporation to use the municipal Brandywell Stadium, the clubs first significant success came in 1935 when it lifted the City Cup. It repeated the feat in 1937, but did not win major trophy until 1949. This led to the clubs first entry into European competition, in the 1964–65 UEFA Cup Winners Cup, in which it was beaten by Steaua Bucharest 5–0 on aggregate. The club won the 1964–65 Irish League and subsequently became the first Irish League team to win a European tie over two legs, beating FK Lyn 8–6 on aggregate in the 1965–66 European Cup. Derry did not complete the round, as the Irish Football Association declared its ground was not up to standard. Derry suspected sectarian motives, as it played in a mainly nationalist city, the IFA, Belfast-based, was dominated by Protestants and it was widely suspected that it would rather have been represented by a traditionally unionist team. Relations between the club and IFA quickly deteriorated, despite the social and political unrest, Derry reached the Irish Cup final in 1971, in which it was beaten 3–0 by Distillery. As the republican locality surrounding the Brandywell saw some of the worst violence and this situation lasted from September 1971 until October 1972 when, faced with dwindling crowds and dire finances, the club formally requested permission to return to the Brandywell. Continuing without a ground was seen as unsustainable and on 13 October 1972 Derry withdrew from the league amidst a perception that it was forced out. The club continued as a team during the 13-year-long flim flam years, playing in the local Saturday morning league. Each time, the club nominated the Brandywell as its home ground
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
The UEFA Cup Winners Cup was a football club competition contested annually by the most recent winners of all European domestic cup competitions. The cup is one of the many inter-European club competitions that have been organised by UEFA, the first competition was held in the 1960–61 season — but not recognised by the governing body of European football until two years later. The final tournament was held in 1998–99, after which it was absorbed into the UEFA Cup, in the 1985–86 season, English clubs were banned from European competition. Consequently, Manchester United, Everton, Coventry City, Wimbledon, from 1972 onwards, the winner of the tournament progressed to play the winner of the European Cup in the UEFA Super Cup. Since the abolition of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, the UEFA Super Cup place previously reserved for the Cup Winners Cup winner has been taken by the winner of the UEFA Cup, now UEFA Europa League. The competitions official name was originally the European Cup Winners Cup, in common with other UEFA club tournaments, the away goal applied when aggregate scores was parity. Following the influx of new UEFA member nations during the 1990s, however, if this team also qualified for the European Champions Cup then they would default on their place in the Cup Winners Cup and no other team would replace them. In 1998–99, the final year, Heerenveen of the Netherlands entered the Cup Winners Cup despite only reaching the semi-final of the previous seasons Dutch Cup. This was due to both Dutch Cup finalists Ajax and PSV Eindhoven qualifying for the recently expanded Champions League. The European Cup had proven to be a success and the Fairs Cup had also proven popular – as a result. One proposal was for a tournament based upon the format of the European Cup, but with national cup winners rather than league champions taking part, the inaugural Cup Winners Cup was held in the 1960–61 season and was basically a semi-official pilot tournament. It was essentially only in England, Scotland and to a lesser extent Germany, for the tournaments second season in 1961–62, UEFA took over the running of all aspects of the competition and this time all the clubs eligible to enter accepted the opportunity. By 1968, all UEFA member nations had set up domestic cup competitions due to the success of the Cup Winners Cup, UEFA regarded it as the second most prestigious competition, behind the European Cup and ahead of the Fairs Cup. Nevertheless, many commentators and fans regarded the Cup Winners Cup as weaker than the UEFA Cup, no club managed to retain the Cup Winners Cup, although eight times a winning side followed up their victories with a losing appearance in the following seasons final. After the establishment of the UEFA Champions League in the early 1990s, with the expansion of the Champions League in 1997 to allow more than one team from the highest-ranked member associations to enter, the Cup Winners Cup began to look noticeably inferior. Since then, domestic cup winners who do not otherwise qualify for the Champions League are given a place in the Europa League, the Cup Winners Cup trophy itself is a property of UEFA and it is not assigned to any club. Sport. Soccer Statistics Foundation UEFA website
Bohemian Football Club, more commonly referred to as Bohs, is a professional football club from Dublin, Ireland. Bohemians compete in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland, during that period they won the Irish Cup once and finished runners up 5 times. They share the record for most wins in European competition with archrivals Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians were founded on 6 September 1890 in the Phoenix Park Gate Lodge beside the North Circular Road entrance and played its first games in the Parks Polo Grounds. One of the members of the League of Ireland in 1921. Bohemians dropped their amateur ethos in 1969 and proceeded to win 2 League titles,2 FAI Cups and 2 League cups during the 1970s. They suffered a further decline throughout the 1980s and most of the 1990s before claiming League and Cup doubles in 2001 and 2008, alongside the 2003, Bohemians play their home matches at Dalymount Park in the Northside neighbourhood of Phibsborough. They are owned 100% by the members of the club and their club colours are red and black, which they adopted at the 4th AGM in October 1893. Bohemians supporters often refer to their club by a number of nicknames including Bohs and The Gypsies, seasons Bohemians were founded on 6 September 1890. They were members of the Irish Football League from 1902 to 1911, during this time the clubs greatest success was winning the Irish Cup in 1908. In its first season it finished second in the league, just two points behind St. James Gate, the club won its first league title in 1924. In 1928 the club won its league title and completed a double that season by winning its first FAI Cup also. The club was one of the forces in the early years of the league. The club went 34 seasons without winning a major trophy, in 1969 the club ended its amateur status, and the first player to sign professional terms was Tony OConnell, who signed on 11 March 1969. The club then went on to win two titles, two FAI Cups and two league cups in the 1970s, more trophies than any other club that decade. In 1970 the club entered European competition for the first time where it was beaten in the first qualifying round of the European Cup Winners Cup. The club went through another trophy-less spell after its 1979 league cup victory and it was not until 2001 that it regained the league title, also winning the FAI Cup that season to complete its second double. In September 2009, Bohemians claimed the League Cup for the time in the clubs history with a 3–1 win over Waterford United in the final. On 6 November 2009, Bohemians retained the title after a 1–1 draw against Bray Wanderers and they were already assured of the league title before the final round of matches as they held a three-point lead and 16-goal difference advantage over their nearest rivals Shamrock Rovers