Glentoran manager Eddie Patterson hopes the Setanta Sports Cup can survive its latest post-mortem.
The Irish League’s interest in the all-Ireland competition evaporated on Monday night as both the Glens and Linfield crashed out.
Heavy aggregate defeats against Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers respectively were compounded by ugly scenes of crowd trouble at Windsor Park.
It has prompted fresh concerns over the future of the competition, especially with Setanta’s sponsorship about to expire.
But for Glens boss Patterson – whose Glens side eventually lost 8-0 to Sligo – it is a positive learning curve for players.
“I like the competition and I sincerely hope some solution can be found to keep it going,” the Oval boss said.
“It is always going to be difficult to change things. The League of Ireland season is just kicking off while we are coming to the end of ours.
“The scheduling of games also puts a strain on Irish League sides. Playing on a Monday is very difficult for part-time players, especially when you have to travel to places like Cork, as Crusaders had to this year.
“It is a conundrum that can hopefully be solved. Linfield and Crusaders have lifted the cup so the Irish League has enjoyed success in the past.”
Patterson also hopes the crowd disturbances during Monday’s game between Linfield and Shamrock Rovers do not derail the competition.
Riot police clashed with Rovers supporters housed in Windsor’s North Stand and flares were thrown onto the pitch.
“It would be sad if the actions of a few contributed to the end to the competition,” Patterson added.
“Nobody wants to see that happen in any sport. It shouldn’t detract from the positive contribution of the Setanta.”
Meanwhile, Glentoran have parted company with Stuart Elliott by mutual consent.
Former Northern Ireland striker Elliott returned to the Oval last summer but has been hampered by injury this season.
“Stuart had one or two niggling injuries that prevented him from getting up to full fitness,” Patterson added.
“It was a frustrating return for him but his experience has been invaluable with the club’s youngsters.
“It says a lot about Stuart’s character that he was willing to end his contract this way. It’s just unfortunate it didn’t work out.”