FAI chief John Delaney and partner Emma English at the
Aviva Lansdowne Road Nua yesterday
Anything good in The Washington Post?
But of course there are questions of legal and ethical impropriety in this arrangement. For one, the payment was kept confidential, and Delaney claims he had to abide by a confidentiality provision.
On the other hand, his spontaneous public confession suggests otherwise, and he didn’t have to agree to the confidentiality provision in the first place.
Why would a nonprofit sporting organization and one of its member nations think that keeping this payment secret was a proper way to conduct business? Losing teams are always unhappy, and lawsuits almost never provide satisfaction, so FIFA had very little to fear in a courtroom.
Yet this secret deal — with both the amount and the entire arrangement kept clandestine — still struck both parties as perfectly reasonable. If further investigation determines that these private parties agreed to commit public wrongs, the deal might not be a shrewd bargain so much as an illegal conspiracy.
More troublingly, why was the payment characterised as a “loan” to build a stadium? If that description turns out to be inaccurate, then the creative bookkeeping might have been an effort to hide the hush money.
So even if Delaney was right to accept the money and to stay quiet about it, football fans of Ireland might still consider this accounting ingenuity a firing offense. If not for Delaney, then perhaps for the auditors…..
Prof. William Birdthistle, professor of law at Illinois Institute of Technology
Unpalatable as it may seem, €5m in cold hard cash was an extraordinary coup. In one fell swoop, Delaney made up for much of the shortfall in corporate ticket sales for the Aviva, and did so without being in any way beholden to Fifa.
When all the posturing and righteous indignation has died down, people will see that John Delaney actually managed to deliver what our actual team has conspicuously failed to achieve in recent times. A result.