2007 League of Ireland Premier Division

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League of Ireland Premier Division
ChampionsDrogheda United
RelegatedWaterford United
Longford Town
UEFA Champions LeagueDrogheda United
UEFA CupSt Patrick's Athletic
Cork City
UEFA Intertoto CupBohemians
Setanta Sports CupDrogheda United
St Patrick's Athletic
Cork City
Derry City
Top goalscorerDavid Mooney: 19
(Longford Town)[1]

The 2007 League of Ireland Premier Division was the 23rd season of the League of Ireland Premier Division. The division was made up of 12 teams. Drogheda United were champions for the first time while St Patrick's Athletic finished as runners-up.

Club information[edit]

Team Base Manager Main sponsor Kit supplier Stadium Capacity
Bohemians Phibsborough Northern Ireland Sean Connor Des Kelly Interiors Diadora Dalymount Park 8,500
Bray Wanderers Bray Republic of Ireland Eddie Gormley Hard Metal Umbro Carlisle Grounds 7,000
Cork City Cork Republic of Ireland Damien Richardson Beamish O'Neill's Turners Cross 8,000
Derry City Derry Scotland John Robertson MeteorElectrical.com Umbro Brandywell Stadium 7,700
Drogheda United Drogheda Republic of Ireland Paul Doolin Murphy Environmental Jako United Park 5,400
Galway United Galway Republic of Ireland Tony Cousins Harrmack Developments Umbro Terryland Park 4,500
Kildare County Newbridge Republic of Ireland John Ryan Swifts Umbro Station Road 2,500
Shamrock Rovers Drumcondra Republic of Ireland Pat Scully Woodie's DIY Umbro Tolka Park 12,000
Sligo Rovers Sligo England Paul Cook Toher's Jako The Showgrounds 5,500
St Patrick's Athletic Inchicore Republic of Ireland John McDonnell Paddy Power Umbro Richmond Park 5,500
UCD Belfield Republic of Ireland Pete Mahon Budweiser O'Neills Belfield Park 2,500
Waterford United Waterford Republic of Ireland Gareth Cronin Perennial Freight Diadora Waterford Regional Sports Centre 8,000


The close-period between the 2006 and 2007 seasons saw one of the biggest departures of senior talent from the League of Ireland and across the Irish Sea in recent times.[2] The profile of the league had been improved by the recent successes of Derry City and Shelbourne in Europe. In addition former players such as Kevin Doyle, one of the top-scorers in the 2006–07 FA Premier League and once of Cork City, attracted attention from numerous managers in Scotland and England. Some of the top players to depart included David Forde and Jason Byrne, both of whom moved to Cardiff City. Cork City saw George O'Callaghan and Danny Murphy depart for Ipswich Town and Motherwell respectively. UCD players, Patrick Kavanagh and Gary Dicker both moved to Birmingham City. Others who made the journey across the water included Colin Hawkins, Trevor Molloy, Paul Keegan. League of Ireland managers also found themselves attracting interest with Stephen Kenny moving from Derry City to Dunfermline Athletic.

The league season kicked off on 9 March. Derry City were initially regarded as favourites to win the Premier Division by numerous bookmakers, closely followed by Drogheda United and Cork City. Despite this, Derry City made a poor start to the season losing to strong title-contenders St Patrick's Athletic and Drogheda United in their early-season encounters. They also lost 4–1 to Cork City at home in the fifth round of games.[3] Meanwhile, St Patrick's Athletic raced into an early-season lead at the top of the table, having won all of their first five fixtures. With a third of the season remaining Drogheda United had risen to the top of the Premier Division table and have since sealed the first league title in their history. On 18 October they beat Cork City 2–1 at United Park which guaranteed the title for them. It had looked like they might have possibly had to wait another week to wrap up the league but a strike from Guy Bates in the last minute gave Drogheda victory on the night which was enough to see them become league champions. The relegation battle was very tight. Longford Town were bottom for the majority of the season, having been deducted six points but going into the final day of the season, they were just three points behind Waterford United and had a far superior goal difference. Longford did what they had to do by beating Derry City 3–1 but Waterford got a point which meant that Longford were relegated. Waterford were still not safe, though, as they had to play in the relegation/promotion playoff where they beaten by Finn Harps which meant that they were still relegated.


Bohemians 2–0 2–1 0–0 0–0 1–1 5–0 2–1 1–0 2–0 0–0 1–0 1–1 2–0 0–0 0–2 3–0 2–0
Bray Wanderers 1–0 1–1 1–1 1–2 0–1 1–3 0–2 2–0 0–0 2–1 2–1 0–3 1–1 1–1 3–0 2–1
Cork City 2–1 2–2 1–1 0–0 0–0 2–0 0–0 1–2 1–0 4–1 2–0 0–1 0–0 3–2 1–0 0–1
Derry City 0–0 1–0 1–4 0–1 0–0 3–1 1–0 4–1 0–1 0–1 1–1 1–2 3–0 1–2 1–1 1–0 0–0
Drogheda United 1–0 4–1 2–2 2–1 2–2 1–1 0–2 3–0 2–0 3–2 3–0 1–1 2–1 1–0 1–0 0–1
Galway United 0–1 0–1 1–2 1–1 2–3 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–1 0–0 1–2 1–0 1–1 2–1 2–0 0–1 2–1
Longford Town 3–0 1–1 1–2 0–0 0–1 0–3 0–3 0–1 1–2 1–0 1–0 1–0 3–1 1–2 1–1 2–1 1–1
Shamrock Rovers 0–0 1–0 2–0 1–1 1–2 1–0 2–0 1–0 0–0 2–0 2–0[a] 0–2 4–0 0–1 0–0 0–0
Sligo Rovers 2–1 3–0 4–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 2–1 2–0 0–4 1–0 1–1 0–1 0–0 2–3 2–1 1–2
St Patrick's Athletic 0–0 3–1 1–1 2–1 1–0 1–2 4–2 2–1 3–1 1–1 3–0 0–1 4–2 0–0 5–0 4–1
UCD 1–0 2–0 0–1 1–1 0–1 2–2 2–2 0–0 0–2 2–2 3–0 1–1 1–2 0–1 2–4 0–3 2–1
Waterford United 0–1 1–2 1–0 0–1 1–1 1–0 2–1 0–2 1–2 2–1 1–3 0–0 0–0 0–3 2–1 1–1 0–0
Source: [4]
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
  1. ^ The match between Shamrock Rovers and Waterford United on 18 May was abandoned at 1–1 in the 52nd minute due to an unstable floodlight pylon. Rovers won the replay 2–0 on 10 July

Final table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Drogheda United (C) 33 19 11 3 48 24 +24 68 Qualification to Champions League first qualifying round
2 St Patrick's Athletic 33 18 7 8 54 29 +25 61 Qualification to UEFA Cup first qualifying round
3 Bohemians 33 16 10 7 35 17 +18 58 Qualification to Intertoto Cup first round
4 Cork City 33 15 10 8 44 32 +12 55 Qualification to UEFA Cup first qualifying round[a]
5 Shamrock Rovers 33 14 9 10 36 26 +10 51
6 Sligo Rovers 33 12 5 16 34 45 −11 41
7 Derry City 33 8 13 12 30 31 −1 37
8 Galway United 33 7 13 13 28 35 −7 34
9 Bray Wanderers 33 8 10 15 30 48 −18 34
10 UCD 33 7 10 16 31 44 −13 31
11 Waterford United (R) 33 7 9 17 23 47 −24 30 Qualification to Relegation play-off
12 Longford Town[b] (R) 33 9 8 16 34 49 −15 29 Relegation to League of Ireland First Division
Source: [4]
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
  1. ^ Cork City qualified for the UEFA Cup first qualifying round after winning the 2007 FAI Cup Final.
  2. ^ Longford Town deducted 6 points for failing to meet licensing requirements.



Finn Harps and Dundalk who finished second and third in the First Division played off against Waterford United who finished eleventh in the Premier Division.

First Round
16 November 2007 Finn Harps2–0Dundalk

Finn Harps qualified for second round.

Second Round

Finn Harps win 6–3 on aggregate and are promoted to Premier Division.

Setanta Sports Cup[edit]

After winning the First Division, Cobh Ramblers also qualified for the new Setanta Sports Cup play-off. Their opponents were Derry City, the winners of the 2007 League of Ireland Cup.

19 November 2007 Derry City2–1Cobh RamblersBrandywell Stadium
McCourt Goal 16'
Hargan Goal 23'
O'Neill Goal 62'

Derry City qualify for 2008 Setanta Sports Cup.[5]


Top goalscorers[edit]

Goalscorers Goals Team
Republic of Ireland David Mooney 19 Longford Town
Republic of Ireland Mark Quigley 15 St Patrick's Athletic
Republic of Ireland Roy O'Donovan 14 Cork City [note 1]
Republic of Ireland Tadhg Purcell 12 Shamrock Rovers
Bosnia and Herzegovina Fahrudin Kudozovic 11 Sligo Rovers
Republic of Ireland Éamon Zayed 11 Drogheda United
  1. ^ Roy O'Donovan transferred to Sunderland in August 2007.

Player of the Month[edit]

Month Name Club
March Republic of Ireland Alan Kirby St Patrick's Athletic
April Republic of Ireland Brian Shelley Drogheda United
May Republic of Ireland Tadhg Purcell Shamrock Rovers
June Republic of Ireland Derek Glynn Galway United
July Republic of Ireland Matthew Judge Sligo Rovers
August Republic of Ireland Dave Mooney Longford Town
September England Guy Bates Drogheda United
October Republic of Ireland Brian Shelley Drogheda United
November Republic of Ireland Conor Gethins Finn Harps [note 1]
  1. ^ Conor Gethins was playing in First Division.

Off-field issues[edit]

Prize funds[edit]

Between the League of Ireland, FAI Cup, League of Ireland Cup and the Setanta Cup a prize fund in excess of €1 million will be available. The FAI will be investing a total of €803,000 for prize funds in 2007. The prize fund for the Premiership in 2007 will reach €450,000 with the winner being awarded €225,000. The First Division winner's prize fund in 2007 will be €50,000, with €100,000 available in total. The following table gives a more detailed breakdown of the prize funds.[6]

Position Premier Division First Division League Cup Fair Play
1 €225,000 €50,000 €10,000 €4,500 x 2
2 €100,000 €30,000 €5,000 €2,000 x 2
3 €50,000 €10,000 €2,500
4 €25,000 €6,000 €2,500
5 €15,000 €4,000
6 €12,000
7 €9,500
8 €7,500
9 €6,000
Totals €450,000 €100,000 €20,000 €13,000

Media coverage[edit]

Broadcasting partners of the FAI - Setanta Sports, TG4 and RTÉ - agreed to televise over 50 live games in the 2007 season. The agreed games included League of Ireland games, as well as Setanta Cup matches and FAI Cup matches. TV3 also agreed to continue showing their highlights programme, eircom League Weekly, on a Monday night each week.

FIFA's two-club ruling[edit]

A significant number of players, who had already played with two clubs within the year prior to the season's kick-off, were left ineligible to play for their clubs until July at the beginning of the season as FIFA's rules, or, in particular, Article 5.3 of FIFA's Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players, stated that no player could play for more than two different clubs between 1 July of one season and 30 June of the following year. The highest-profile members of the group of ten were the Irish internationally capped midfielders Gareth Farrelly and Colin Healy. Both players had agreed two-year deals with Cork City but their clearance failed to come through from FIFA due to the fact that they had each been registered to two other clubs since 1 July 2006. Among the other Premier Division players hit with the ruling were: Bray Wanderers midfielder Alan Cawley; Derry City striker Peter Hynes; and Ray Scully of Waterford United.[7]

The Football Association of Ireland argued to FIFA that, as they ran a league with an unconventional Summer season out of tandem with the calendar of most other European national leagues, around which the rule was based, such circumstances ought to be permissible for players playing in the League. However, with two weeks of the league season completed, the association had yet to come to an agreement with FIFA. As a result, in failing to ensure that the clubs under its jurisdiction would be able to field their full squads at the outset of the season, the FAI came in for criticism. Numerous fans of the league condemned what they viewed to be carelessly negligent short-sightedness on the part of the association.

By 23 March 2007, three of the group were cleared to play by FIFA. The players who were cleared to play were Gary Rogers of Galway United, Alan Cawley of Bray Wanderers and Shaun Holmes of Finn Harps, while decisions on the remainder were not expected for another week.[8] On 2 April, it was announced that Colin Healy and Gareth Farrelly both failed to gain clearance to play for Cork City.[9] While the FAI had taken the cases forward to FIFA on behalf of most of the players, it was Cork City who decided to have their own legal team represent their two players.

It was announced on 5 April that Peter Hynes had received clearance by FIFA. This concluded the wait for decisions on all ten players as the remainder (bar the two Cork City players) were also given exemptions. The other players cleared were: John Brophy and Mark Leech of Shelbourne; Willie Doyle of Monaghan United; and Ray Scully.[10] In the meantime, Cork City suggested that they would be appealing FIFA's decision not to grant their two players clearance on 18 April 2007 by 20 April deadline. The club made a 'strongly worded submission' to FIFA in relation to the issue asking FIFA to reconsider and were in consultation with people within the game, in legal circles and even those involved in politics.[11] FIFA rejected Cork City's appeal on 23 April but the club stated that they may take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport as a last resort.[12] When they did eventually take the case to this stage, it was once again decided against their favour, meaning that the two players had to wait to July until they could represent Cork City.[13]

The CityWeb affair[edit]

After having fined Cork City manager, Damien Richardson, during the 2006 season for critical comments he had made against a referee after a game, as well as handing him a four-match touchline ban,[14] and comments from the then Bohemians manager, Gareth Farrelly, expressing that he felt gagged,[15] the FAI continued to restrict critical opinions of their structures from individuals connected with clubs in the league. On 15 February 2007, Derry City were requested by the FAI to remove a blog entry posted on their official website - CityWeb - by fan, 'MariborKev'. The entry, entitled "Another fine mess", which criticised the administration of the FAI in dealing with the financial irregularities at Shelbourne, even went on to predict that the organisation would get in contact with the club over the post to demand its removal. The article was said to have breached terms of the Participation Agreement, which the club had signed in order to take part in the 2007 competition. As a result, the club's webmaster was forced to move the blogging system to a separate domain, unconnected to the official club site.[16] A number of weeks later, on 6 March, it was revealed that the club had been fined €5,000 by the FAI. The body also made it known to the club that for every further day the offending article remained on the site, it would punish Derry by another €1,000. This was despite the fact the blogging area had been moved to another site weeks earlier. Derry City eventually had their punishment overturned after a successful appeal by the club's legal team.


The league reported a significant increase in attendance figures for the opening weekend of the season with the average gate up 17 per cent from the same weekend in 2006. A total of 20,632 people paid into 11 fixtures on the opening weekend of the season. This equated to an average attendance of almost 1,900 which, compared with the 1,600 mean figure from a year previously, represented an increase of 17 per cent. The figures constituted an early success for the newly appointed National Club Promotions Officer, Noel Mooney, who was appointed to co-ordinate the new Club Promotions Officers at 16 League of Ireland clubs.

With the attendance figures eclipsing the projected targets, Mooney commented:

It is a very encouraging way to begin the new season and gives us something to build on. We know that there is huge public interest in the league and our goal is to see that reflected in attendance figures. Our target for the opening weekend of fixtures was 18,000, so to clear that figure is fantastic. However, there are over thirty weeks of action ahead of us - the real work starts now.[17]

The improved attendance rate was maintained as the season progressed as a total of 97,656 patrons attended fixtures over the first six weeks season. The figure for the same period for the 2006 season was just 65,828, with the average attendance of 1,480 per game throughout the 2007 Premier Division and 2007 League of Ireland First Division equating to a massive rise of 37% in attendances.[18]

FIFA 08[edit]

On 8 June 2007, it was announced that the FAI had teamed up with Electronic Arts and that the League of Ireland would feature in the FIFA 08 computer game; the first time for the league to feature in the FIFA series.[19] Top players from the league, including Derry City's Paddy McCourt and Joseph N'Do of St Patrick's Athletic, were present at the official announcement and photocall of the deal, which took place in Temple Bar, Dublin, on 11 June 2007. All 12 teams in the League of Ireland's Premier Division would feature in the game, it was confirmed. At the event, Fran Gavin, Director of the League of Ireland said:

We are thrilled to be working with EA Sports to bring our league to a worldwide audience of millions. Having the eircom League of Ireland included in FIFA 08 is very exciting for supporters of the league, and it will also enable people around the world to play FAI eircom League of Ireland fixtures on their computer consoles.[20]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ireland - List of Topscorers". www.rsssf.com. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Bargain-hunters ransack Ireland", Aidan Fitzmaurice, UEFA.com, 25 January 2007.
  3. ^ "Four goal Cork heap pressure on Derry boss Fenlon Archived 13 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine", Irish Football Online, 9 April 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Ireland 2007". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Derry City 2-1 Cobh Ramblers". BBC Sport. 19 November 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Prize Money Details Released Archived 9 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine", derrycityfc.net, 29 July 2007. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
  7. ^ "Clubs hit with two-club ruling Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine", Eleven-a-side.ie, 9 March 2007.
  8. ^ "Three of ten players cleared to play", Irish Football Online, 23 March 2007.
  9. ^ "Farrelly and Healy fail to gain clearance", The Irish Times 3 April 2007.
  10. ^ "FIFA grant clearance to Hynes Archived 16 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine", FAI eircom League, 5 April 2007.
  11. ^ "Cork City ask FIFA to reconsider", Irish Football Online, 18 April 2007.
  12. ^ "Cork City's FIFA appeal rejected", Irish Football Online, 23 April 2007.
  13. ^ "Farrelly and Healy fail in court appeal",[permanent dead link] RTÉ Sport, 12 June 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2007.
  14. ^ "Richardson hit with fine & ban", RTÉ.ie, 5 July 2006.
  15. ^ "Farrelly feels gagged", Bohs News, 18 September 2006.
  16. ^ "Another fine mess Archived 2 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine", DerryCityWeb Blogs, 3 February 2007.
  17. ^ "League reports major increase in crowds Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine", Eleven-a-side.com, 13 March 2007.
  18. ^ "League sees 37% attendance rise", Irish Football Online, 19 April 2007.
  19. ^ "Eircom League of Ireland to feature in FIFA 08",[permanent dead link] eircomLOI.ie, 8 June 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2007.
  20. ^ "Star players launch league's involvement with FIFA 08 Archived 25 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine, eircomLOI.ie, 11 June 2007. Retrieved on 12 June 2007.