Sporting Fingal F.C.

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Sporting Fingal
Sporting Fingal FC crest
Full name Sporting Fingal Football Club
Nickname(s) The Fingal, The Ravens
Founded 2007
Dissolved 2011
Ground Dalymount Park, Morton Stadium
Ground Capacity 4,000
Chairman Gerry Gannon
Manager Liam Buckley
2010 4th (Premier Division)
Website Club home page

Sporting Fingal Football Club (Irish: Cumann Peile Fine Gall Spórtúil) was a professional football club based in Fingal, Ireland. The club competed in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland from 2008 to 2011. Former Shamrock Rovers manager, Liam Buckley was the club's manager while former Arsenal player, John Devine was the head coach. Sporting first played their home games at Morton Stadium in Santry, and had intended to move to Dalymount Park at the beginning of the 2011 season.[1]

History[edit]

The concept for the club was created by Fingal County Council as part of a development plan for soccer in Fingal.[2] The goal was to enter a team in the League of Ireland as well as the construction of a centre of excellence to the north of Swords. The plan was accelerated by the demise of Kilkenny City from league status giving Sporting Fingal the opportunity to gain membership ahead of schedule.[3]

Sporting Fingal was founded in 2007 and was officially launched on 11 February 2008.[4] The club was expected to play its first full season in 2008 in the newly founded A Championship, however instead they took the place of Kilkenny City in the League of Ireland First Division with Kilkenny dropping out of the League of Ireland.[5] Their first League of Ireland game ended in a 5-1 defeat to Longford Town on 8 March 2008. They had a successful 2008 season eventually finishing third in the League of Ireland First Division.

In December 2008, the club announced it was increasing its budget for the 2009 First Division season. Fingal had a very successful 2009 season. They gained promotion to the Premier Division overcoming Bray Wanderers 4-2 over two legs in the promotion-relegation play-off. Fingal also ended the season as FAI Cup winners overcoming Sligo Rovers in the final, scoring two late goals to win 2-1. In doing so they qualified for the UEFA Europa League.[6][7]

Fingal were drawn against Portuguese side CS Maritimo in the Europa League. This was to be their first game in European competition. The first leg was held in the Estadio da Madeira, and Fingal were defeated 3-2. The two away goals scored by Fingal gave them a strong chance of advancing against Maritimo. However, the second leg ended with another 3-2 defeat against Maritimo, in which Fingal was eliminated from the Europa League.[8][9]

The club completed their first season in the top flight in 2010 with a credible fourth place finish, five points behind champions Shamrock Rovers. For the 2011 season, Sporting Fingal were to play their home games at Dalymount Park.[10]

On 3 February 2011, the club revealed serious financial problems when they were unable to pay their players' wage bill. The statement blamed the situation on "a number of commitments which would be crucial to its viability have, in very recent days, not materialised".[11] On 9 February 2011, the future of the club remained in doubt after the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland (PFAI) released a statement confirming that the club had cancelled the contracts of its entire playing staff.[12] On 10 February 2011, the directors confirmed that the club withdrew its application for a licence from the Football Association of Ireland to participate in the 2011 League of Ireland season because inadequate funding for the club was found during the off-season.[13][14][15]

It was announced that Fingal County Council would build a new sports complex in Lusk. Sporting Fingal were expected to play games at the complex, which would contain a 4,200 all-seater stadium, upon its completion with the option of future expansion to 12,000. The complex would also have modern training facilities and would be available for other sports. It is unclear if the venue will have any football tenant.[16]

European record[edit]

UEFA Europa League[edit]

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
2010-11 UEFA Europa League 2. Qualifying Round Portugal Marítimo 2-3 2-3 4-6

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.extratime.ie/newsdesk/articles/4722/
  2. ^ FAI Website
  3. ^ Foot.ie Forum Article
  4. ^ RTÉ Sports news - Sporting Fingal officially launched
  5. ^ FAI.ie Sporting Fingal to be offered First Division place
  6. ^ "Sligo Rovers 1-2 Sporting Fingal". RTÉ Sport. 2009-11-22. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  7. ^ "Late surge gives Sporting a year to remember". Irish Times. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2009-11-26. 
  8. ^ CS Maritimo 3-2 Sporting Fingal 15 July 2010, www.rte.ie. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  9. ^ "Sporting Fingal 2-3 CS Maritimo". RTÉ Sport. 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  10. ^ "Sporting Fingal to play at Dalymount Park". RTÉ Sport. 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  11. ^ "Sporting Fingal reveal financial crisis". RTÉ Sport. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  12. ^ "Sporting Fingal cancel all player contracts". Irish Times. 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  13. ^ "Sporting Fingal cease operations". RTE.ie. 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  14. ^ O'Connor, Ruaidhri (2011-01-11). "League in new crisis as Fingal go to wall". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  15. ^ "Sporting Fingal reaches end of the road". Irish Times. 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  16. ^ "Sporting Fingal reaches end of the road". The Irish Times.