CI football league back on the cards

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Such a move, involving teams from Jersey’s Coca-Cola Combination and Guernsey’s Priaulx League, would be the biggest shake-up of the game in the islands for over a century.

It is certainly not a new idea, and previous proposals to breathe new life into the sport have often failed on the basis of travel costs, with Jersey’s clubs usually kicking the idea into touch.

But plans – discussed last weekend – are afoot for a 16-team league to be in place for the start of next season.

The Guernsey Football Association executive are pushing the initiative and Jersey Football Combination are thought to be backing it – although a spokesman said this morning that it would be, as always, for the clubs to make the final decision.

It is believed, however, that officials are confident that the extra costs could be covered by sponsorship – thus removing the biggest obstacle.

No official confirmation is coming from either body but word is getting around in both islands that the exciting, grand plan to reinvigorate and change the face of CI club football is set to happen.

The Priaulx and Combination Division I would continue to exist but it is understood that in the latter’s case that it would run alongside the CI League, ie matches between Jersey sides would count in both competitions.

In the seven-team Priaulx division it is suggested that teams would only play each other twice in addition to their two meetings in the CI League.

The exact composition of the CI League is still being debated – Jersey are thought to want a 9-7 split in their favour while the GFA would prefer an even split and create an eighth Priaulx League side, probably an island development team of some sort.

If the plans should take-off then it is highly likely that the inter-island cup competitions would have to be reduced or shelved altogether.

A Combination spokesman, in the absence of president Tim Darwin said: ‘It could bring back some vibrancy into football.

Neither island has many newcomers in the sport any more and at the moment players line-up against the same faces week-in, week-out.

The CI League could help re-capture the interest of the public.

‘But it is only in the initial stages.

It has been raised in the past but has been cost prohibitive for the clubs.’

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