Waterford denied license to play in Europa League next season meaning rivals get their spot

WATERFORD have been left reeling by the news that they have been denied a Uefa licence to compete in the Europa League next season.

Alan Reynolds' side qualified for Europe after finishing fourth in the League of Ireland last campaign, but their place is poised to go to St Patrick's Athletic.

A statement from the FAI said: "We received notification from Uefa’s Licensing Department that Waterford FC’s exemption request has been rejected on the non-fulfilment of the three-year rule as defined in the Uefa Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

“Uefa has informed the FAI that, following the Club Financial Control Body-Investigatory Chamber decision in this case, Waterford FC may not apply for a Uefa licence for the Uefa Club Competitions for the season 2019-20.”

The rule states that clubs that have changed ownership within the last three years must prove they have paid off all the "old" debts, or had an agreement in place to repay them.

The Blues were rebranded as Waterford FC in 2017 after previously being known as Waterford United.

St Pat's had contacted the FAI after believing they should be deemed as ineligible to take part in European competitions.

Waterford owner Lee Power recently told SunSport that he was seeking legal advice over his club's situation.

The Munster outfit are set to miss out on a minimum of £190,000 in prize money for taking part in the Europa League.

Power said: "We’re shocked to be honest — everyone at the club is really shocked by this.

“We qualified last October and we have been planning for it since then.

“We’re taking legal advice. I cannot say any more at the moment.”

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