League of Ireland
Limerick FC to welcome Man City to the Treaty City
If Cork City playing Manchester United wasn’t good enough for domestic football in Ireland, Limerick FC have gone one better by announcing a pre-season friendly with Manchester City.
Many will argue that United carry a far greater clout and have a larger support base than their city rivals, but it still represents quite the coup for Limerick to welcome the Premier League Champions to Thomond Park early next month.
The glamour fixture was announced by Limerick Chairman Pat O’Sullivan this morning, with City set to come to the Treaty City on Sunday 5 August, one week before their Community Shield encounter with Chelsea.
The fixture has yet to be pencilled in on Manchester City’s website and although they are scheduled to play a friendly against Bundesliga side Wolfsburg the night before, early reports suggest that Roberto Mancini will be bringing a strong squad to the West of Ireland, with the likes of Joe Hart, Samir Nasri and David Silva set to feature. Mario Balotelli should also be in attendance, which should guarantee entertainment of some form or another.
The friendly is a huge boost for Limerick FC, who had organised a glamorous and potentially lucrative friendly fixture with Barcelona two years ago only for the FAI and the Airtricity League to intervene and prevent it from going ahead.
There will be no such obstacles to overcome on this occasion, however, as the FAI have sanctioned the fixture in a legally binding agreement that allows Limerick to entertain big name clubs over the next ten years.
The quality of the opposition and the day that’s in it (It’s the Sunday of the August Bank Holiday weekend) should ensure a sizeable crowd at the home of Munster Rugby and all proceeds from the game will be pumped back into Limerick FC’s football project in the city, great news considering what has happened to Monaghan United and Dundalk in recent times.