Dundalk chairman Ciaran Bond has revealed that the club were forced to pay out over €20,000 in fines during the 2014 season.
Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat, Bond said that the club had managed to get the €18,000 fine, imposed by UEFA following the display of Palestinian flags during the Europa League qualifier with Hajduk Split in July, reduced to €15,000. He also stated that domestic fines, imposed by the FAI, had amounted to over €6,000.
“In terms of the European fine, we appealed it and got it reduced by €3,000. The mainstay of the fine, the €15,000 in relation to the flags, stayed intact, though, and that was deducted from the prize money.
“Excluding that, we had fines in the region of €6,125,” he continued.
“The vast majority of those were flare related. There were a few from pitch invasions on the last night of the season. It’s probably hard to criticise people for invading the pitch when you’ve been waiting 19 years to win the league title but, in terms of flares, hopefully we won’t see them at Oriel Park again.
“The club has run a well orchestrated campaign to inform people, not just about the fines, but also the public safety. We were very lucky in the Setanta Cup final that the person who got injured with a flare didn’t suffer any serious injuries.”
The total cost of the fines is equal to one fifth of the prize money on offer for winning the SSE Airtricity League title and Bond said the club could simply not afford to dispense of that kind of money in the future.
“It’s a massive amount of money and we’re ‘lucky’, that the €15,000 European fine came out of the Europa League prize money. If we didn’t have that we’d be in a serious situation,” he said.
“It’s gone beyond a joke at this stage and there is an onus on the club and the supporters now to eradicate the reasons we are getting these fines.”