Finn Harps Infrastructure Coordinator Trevor Gordon has been busy working with the FAI Licensing department on the goal of achieving a Premier Division license for Finn Park’s return to the big stage in 2016.
Gordon told finnharps.com “We have had a very positive initial meeting with the FAI at Finn Park and they will be doing a ‘gap analysis’ to identify areas where we do not meet current Premier Division standards. Obviously we are well below the required standard in some areas, 1500 seats for example, but we intend to apply for a temporary derogation in respect of some key areas where it would not be cost effective to carry out upgrades in light of the new stadium project on the horizon”
“We’ve also had a safety inspection and report by an independent firm of consulting engineers, something that has to be done every year regardless of the Division, which also identified (mostly minor) items which we will need to address.”
The club will be looking to draw on its resource of talent and goodwill to carry out some of the improvements needed. Offers of help from Tradespeople are already on the table and the club intend to outline other areas where people or companies can help in the near future. Trevor added “The club have told me there are already a number of people with various skills who will be willing to give their time and expertise to help out. We will identify and agree an “Infrastructure Development Plan” with the FAI and then we’re hoping people will be able to help out with various aspects, from simply painting and tidying up, to carpentry, electrical and plumbing works etc.”
As regards the New Stadium Project, Trevor said “Obviously it’s important that there is some progress on the new Stadium in the context of seeking a licence and some temporary derogations. I’m not directly involved with this process but I’ve spoken to the Ground Development Committee and the Board and I can confirm that members of the Committee recently met the Deptartment of Sport, together with the FAI, and that everyone is working very hard with a view to getting work restarted on site in the near future. The indications are positive, and the Club are expecting a major funding allocation early in the new year, to enable work to restart. The builder has committed to get back on site as soon as the Department funding allocation is received.”
“Obviously there are various discussions ongoing and multiple parties are involved so its not been possible to put as much information in the public domain as perhaps the fans would like, but what I do know is that huge credit is due to all parties – the club, the Ground Development Committee, the FAI and people like Richard Fahey ( the FAI’s Director of Club Licensing and Facility Development), the developers Joseph McMenamin and Sons and also the Dept of Sport and the OPW – for keeping this project afloat and intact throughout the recession”