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From top: FAI CEO John Delaney (right) Republic and of Ireland soccer manager Martin O’Neill; press release issued by the FAI on Friday

It’s John’s club.

And you’re not in it.

You may have read about how the FAI held a press conference last Friday about the launch of its 2016 – 2020 strategic plan which, among other things, stated it will “continue to aim to be debt-free by 2020”.

The FAI only invited representatives from their “media partners” to the launch – those from RTÉ and independent.ie.

Further to this…

Paul Rowan, in yesterday’s Irish edition of The Sunday Times wrote:

“When John Delaney first stopped holding open media sessions at the FAI’s AGM two years ago, a list of 10 questions were sent by the assembled media to him and the association which remained unanswered. By last year’s event in Sligo, it had swelled to 20 questions, but there was no response. Now the policy appears to be to lockout the press completely when it comes to any platform where the future of the association is being discussed.”

“Certainly it was more Cluedo than 20 questions when it came to approaching selected media over launch of the FAI’s strategic four-year plan, now dubbed the press conference to which the press were not invited.”

“…Also there was John Treacy, the chief executive of Sport Ireland, the state body which distributes public funds to the FAI and other sporting organisations in the country. And it is at the door of Treacy and his paymasters in the department of transport, tourism and sport that the responsibility now lays to rein in the FAI.”

The association, and in particular Delaney, appear to believe they are above proper public scrutiny, despite the fact that the FAI goes cap in hand for state funding — €2.7m of which it received in the last annual round — and is also the guardian of the most popular participation sport in the country.

So far, neither Sport Ireland nor the politicians have done a very good job in scrutinising how an important national organisation in receipt of large sums of public money goes about its business.”

War of attrition on press does Delaney and FAI no favours (The Sunday Times)

Related: A sad day for game? FAI launch plan without inviting press (The Irish Sun)

Pics: Rollingnews and Irish Sun

6 thoughts on “Blatteresque

  1. Clampers Outside!

    “….most popular participation sport in the country” – Is that accolade not belonging to deh GAA?

    And will yer man be paying the managers wages in order to improve his reputation again this year?

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Dunno. I know lots of people who play 5 a side during the week to keep them fit. Don’t know too many people who have a regular knock around game of hurling or gaelic football.

    2. Continuity Jay-Z

      From some scroll from the distant past that I read; soccer’s participation rate (i.e playing) dwarfs hurling, Rugby and Gaelic football combined.

      the 5-a-side casual soccer player exists where they don’t in any of the rest of the sports. Tag Rugby isn’t sport. It’s the physical fitness wing of the Iona Institute pairing off the hard to marry.

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