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The Current State Of Soccer In Ireland

The Current State Of Soccer In Ireland

Football, or soccer, is unsurprisingly one of the biggest and most popular sports in Ireland. The sport has certainly had its ups and downs over the years in many ways, though in popularity it has always been a leading sporting event in the nation on many levels. Today, the state of soccer in Ireland is in turmoil in a number of ways, though at the same time it is still thriving in many others. We’re going to look at a wide view of the state of soccer in Ireland today, so let’s get started.

Football or soccer 1

Financial difficulty

From a financial point of view, there are a several ways in which soccer is currently struggling in Ireland. Most clubs are operating at a financial loss—around 75% of all League of Ireland teams are not in profit and the combined turnover of every team was about €13 million, with only six teams in the League of Ireland turning a profit. Other leagues are faring better, but not by a huge margin.

There is no denying that this is not a great state of play, but at the same time this is not that unusual. Even for the biggest clubs in leagues like the English Premier League, most clubs are not operating at a huge profit. So, while teams in Ireland may be facing financial difficulties, this is by no means uncommon.

Quality of play

Though this is naturally a great point of contention and not a hard fact, many argue that the overall level of play in Irish football has declined in recent years. Technical skill is widely thought to be at a lower level than it was a decade ago, and there are various potential reasons for this. On the one hand, there’s the simple fact that the overall age profile of players in the current game is lower than it has been for some time. Naturally, then, there’s less experience among the players and as time goes on we can expect this to improve.

Not all agree with this premise, though. Some suggest that while some of the bigger leagues have shown this trend, this is not true across the board for Irish soccer teams. In any case, it is something that’s on the minds of Irish soccer punters today.  Again, the big focus with most of this criticism is the League of Ireland.

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The betting is another area where the soccer in Ireland has only gotten more popular over the years rather than declining in any meaningful way. Around 50% of Irish people in one survey said they had gambled in the year prior to being asked, and per capita the Irish spend among the most of any population in Europe. The lion’s share is placed on football games at sports betting sites in Ireland, so plainly this will only continue to grow in the future.

So, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to the state of soccer in Ireland today. In some ways it is as strong as it ever was, though at the same time there are some areas which have seen a clear decline over the last decade or so. In any case, one thing is for sure, that the popularity of the game will continue into the future and that with some effort and a bit of good fortune, the lower quality of play and the financial difficulties will be a thing of the past.


One area where soccer in Ireland certainly shows no signs of decline is in attendance of the games. In fact, figures show that attendance in general is improving, if slowly, and that more and more people are going to watch games. A lot of factors can affect attendance of football games, such as the success of a given club at a given time. Attendance is naturally higher at certain times of the year, but in general it is in a better place than it has been in recent years. For instance, around 130,000 fans attended the Premier Division in 2022, showing an increase of as much as 20% from recent years.

This, in some ways, is among the most interesting and illuminating figure about the state of soccer in Ireland. While the game itself may change in many ways, its popularity virtually never waivers, and even if slowly, it is always gaining traction. This, again, is mostly the case with the big games in the League of Ireland—but lower level leagues are also becoming more popular as a growing emphasis on local sports takes hold. With 12 levels to the leagues, there is plenty of opportunity out there for both players and punters, and the game would obviously not exist at all were it not for the fans. Their attendance is one of the most important aspects.

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