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
St Patrick's Athletic F.C.
St Patricks Athletic F. C. is an Irish association football club based in Inchicore, Dublin, that plays in the Irish Premier Division. Founded in May 1929, they played originally in the Phoenix Park, St Patricks Athletic have won numerous trophies in Irish Club Football, including nine League Titles, the fifth most in Irish Football, as well as three FAI Cups and two League Cups. The current manager is Liam Buckley, who is in his spell in charge at the club after replacing Pete Mahon in 2011. The club graduated through the ranks of the Leinster Senior League and duly took their place in the League of Ireland in 1951, the clubs glory years came in the 1950s and 1990s when they won 7 of their 9 league titles. The club also have the record for never having been relegated from the Premier Division, the club play in red and white colours, and their nicknames include The Saints, Supersaints and Pats. The Saints also have a lot of Dublin Derby games with the likes of Shelbourne, Shamrock Rovers, during the late 1940s and 1950s St Pats played in the Leinster Senior League. During this period won the league title on six occasions. This included four successive titles between 1947–48 and 1950–51, in 1947–48 St Pats completed a treble after also winning both the FAI Intermediate Cup and Leinster Senior Cup. The 1948–49 season would see St Pats win a Leinster Senior League / FAI Intermediate Cup double, in 1950–51 a young Shay Gibbons helped St Pats win the Leinster Senior League title for a fourth time. After St Pats first team joined the League of Ireland in 1951–52, in 1951–52 the club was admitted, along with Cork side Evergreen United, to the League of Ireland. St Pats made an impact, winning the league championship at their first attempt. Two more league championship successes followed in 1954–55 and 1955–56, the club had to wait until 1959 before their first FAI Cup success, repeating the feat in 1961. and Willie Peyton are players who contributed greatly during this era. St Pats struggled throughout the late 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s with only the odd cup final or young star emerging to brighten things for long suffering Pats fans, among those players to emerge was Noel Campbell. Campbell spent a number of years with St Pats before moving to SC Fortuna Köln where he would play 8 seasons, perhaps the brightest star to play for St Pats was Paul McGrath. McGrath was signed by Saints manager Charlie Walker from junior side Dalkey United, within a year he had won the PFAI Player of the Year award and earned himself a move to Manchester United. The World cup Winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks also played one match for St Pats, the appointment of Brian Kerr as manager in 1986 was a major turning point in the fortunes of the club. Kerr worked on limited resources to create team capable of challenging the best, at the end of the 1988/89 season St Pats left Richmond Park for what the board of directors called a short time while redevelopment work was done. Playing in Harolds Cross, Kerrs blend of players and experienced campaigners disregarded by other clubs won the clubs first league championship in 34 years on Easter Monday 1990
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
Drogheda United F.C.
Drogheda United Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Drogheda, County Louth. The club are members of the League of Ireland First Division and they play their home matches at United Park. The current club is the amalgamation of two clubs in the town, Drogheda United, a non-league club founded in 1919. In their first season there they finished tenth and also in each of the three seasons finished in the bottom three. In the 1967–68 season they achieved a respectable fifth-place finish and the season finished in sixth place. They did, however, get to FAI Cup final that season where they were beaten 3–0 by Limerick, for the next three seasons, quite the opposite at what had happened before, they finished in third place. During these seasons Drogheda United also achieved two club records - their biggest league victory and Cathal Muckian scoring 21 league goals in a season and they did win their first ever trophy during these seasons also, the League of Ireland Cup in the 1983–84 season. They remained in the First Division until the 1988–89 season when they went up as First Division Champions and their joy was short-lived, however, as the following season they were relegated although this time they achieved promotion at the first time of asking. In the next two seasons Drogheda battled bravely against relegation surviving by one point and on goal difference in the respective seasons, however, they were relegated for the third time in the 1993–94 season. Paul Doolin took over and upped the standard of training and fitness levels, however, he found that to compete with the big clubs like Bohemians and Shelbourne he would need a professional squad. In 2004, he made the fully professional and gave part-time players the option to turn professional or leave the club. The change to full-time saw the clubs fortunes drastically improve and they won their first FAI Cup in 2005, beating Cork City in the final and won back-to-back Setanta Cups in 2006 and 2007. They also qualified for the UEFA Cup for the 2006–07 season thanks to their 2005 FAI Cup success and they were also in the UEFA Cup Qualifying stages for the 2007–08 campaign, losing to Helsingborgs IF in the second round. United finally won the League Of Ireland for the first time in 2007, guy Bates scored the winning goal for Drogheda that day, shooting himself into Drogs folklore. Drogheda were dominant in the league, only losing three games and winning the title by seven points, the league win meant that Drogheda would be playing in the Champions League Qualifiers for the first time in their history in the 2008–09 season. They succeeded in their first qualifier against Levadia Tallinn, beating them 3–1 on aggregate and they played the Second Qualifying Round against Dynamo Kyiv which, they ended up losing 4–3 on aggregate. In the first a goal for Kiev secured a 2–1 victory at Dalymount Park. In the second game, an early Kiev goal after 13 minutes seemed to have finished the tie, Shane Robinson stepped up and slotted home the spot-kick
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 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
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
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
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
UEFA Intertoto Cup
The competition was discontinued after the 2008 tournament. Teams who originally would have entered the Intertoto Cup now directly enter the qualifying stages of the UEFA Europa League from this point, the tournament was founded in 1961–62, but was only taken over by UEFA in 1995. Any club who wished to participate had to apply for entry, the cup billed itself as providing both an opportunity for clubs who otherwise would not get the chance to enter the UEFA Cup and as an opportunity for sports lotteries to continue during the summer. This reflects its background, which was as a tournament solely for football pools, in 1995, the tournament came under official UEFA sanctioning and UEFA Cup qualification places were granted. Initially, two were provided, this was increased to three after one year, but in 2006, it was increased to the final total of 11. The Intertoto Cup was the idea of Malmö FF chairman Eric Persson, thommen, and the Austrian coach Karl Rappan, who coached the Swiss national team at the 1938 FIFA World Cup and at the 1954 World Cup. The Cup for the Cupless was also promoted by the Swiss newspaper Sport. It derived its name from Toto, the German term for football pool, thommen, who had set up football betting pools in Switzerland in 1932, had a major interest in having purposeful matches played in the summer break. UEFA were initially disinclined to support the tournament, finding its betting background distasteful, nevertheless they permitted the new tournament, clubs which qualified for one of the official continental competitions, such as the European Champions Cups and Cup Winners Cup, were not allowed to participate. The first tournament was held in 1961 as the International Football Cup, initially the Cup had a group stage, which led to knock-out matches culminating in a final. By 1967, it had become difficult to organize the games, and so the knock-out rounds, instead, group winners received prizes of CHF10, 000-15,000. By 1995, UEFA had reconsidered its opinion, took control of the tournament. Initially, two winners were given a place in the UEFA Cup, the success of one of the first winners, Bordeaux, in reaching the final of the 1995–96 UEFA Cup encouraged UEFA to add a third UEFA Cup place in 1996. Many clubs disliked the competition and saw it as disruptive in the preparation for the new season, as a consequence, they did not nominate themselves for participation even if entitled. Following the threat of bans of English teams from all UEFA competitions, in following years, UEFA made it possible for nations to forfeit Intertoto places. Other clubs have built upon their success in the UI Cup, furthermore, UEFA rejected this assertion that the tournament is disruptive. In December 2007, following the election of new UEFA president Michel Platini and this was a part of a range of changes that were to be made to the UEFA Cup/Champions League System. Instead of teams qualifying for the Intertoto Cup, they now qualify directly for the qualifying stages of the UEFA Europa League