Having steered Galway to promotion during an impressive first season in charge, manager Tommy Dunne believes more supporter involvement is crucial to the long term success of the domestic game.
Speaking after the new Galway Soccer Co-op was launched this week, Dunne said getting people involved in a club was crucial.
“I had experience of such in Cork and I think it's the way forward,” Dunne said. “In Cork City it brought back an integrity and an honesty.
“I spent most of my adult life in League Of Ireland football and I saw a lot of people doing a lot of bad things to football clubs. I know that once supporters take control of a football club, that won't happen. It'll be based on what's best for the club, and that's the way it should be.”
With Galway operating in the top flight again Dunne said there was much hard work to do still.
"We got promoted through hard work from everybody involved with the football club, but the work is only starting. When the time comes for members to elect people to help run the club, we've got to make sure they want to bring the philosophy and the club forward."
FAI chief executive officer John Delaney said the past 18 months was a success story for Galway and the four stakeholders involved, Galway United Supporters Trust, The Galway & District League, Mervue United, and Salthill Devon.
“The club had great difficulties putting people together, getting people to work together and it's been a tremendous success,” Delaney says. “It was against the backdrop of some negativity, but what a positive story this is. Galway United football club is now back on its feet.”
Delaney said another important step had been taken with the Galway Soccer co-op. " It gets the club even deeper into the community and helps to raise funds for what is going to be a challenging season in the premier division.
"It's a model I like. Having the fans involved in the running of the club is important and then having a structure that allows the club to operate is also important. It's about getting that blend right.
"It's a way of making sure the people who care are involved with running the club. The way this club has approached its business over the last 12 months with this co-op - which will be a hugely important part of the future of the club - I think the blend is right."