CEO of the FAI John Delaney

The CEO of the FAI John Delaney and other senior members of the FAI are to appear before the Oireachtas sport committee on April 10.

Mr Delaney is expected to be asked about his €100,000 “bridging loan” to the FAI in 2017.

Last night the State’s sports funding body Sport Ireland said it was seeking urgent clarification from Mr Delaney about the loan and the FAI announced it had responded in full to Sport Ireland.

In addition, journalist Barry Lenihan – speaking to Katie Hannon on RTÉ Radio One’s Drivetime yesterday evening – reported:

“Just this morning, members of the Oireachtas sport committee received a gentle reminder from the FAI for an event coming up on Thursday, the 4th of April, just six days before TDs and Senators are due to grill Mr [John] Delaney and co.

“Committee members are invited by the FAI to the UEFA U17 Championship 2019 draw in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

The invite tells TDs and the Senators how, before the draw, they can enjoy ‘a pre-drinks reception’, whilst afterwards the FAI invites members to the official draw dinner.

“This, less than a week before the same TDs and Senators are due to question the same FAI about that controversial loan.

I spoke to the majority of the committee today who questioned the appropriateness and the timing of this gentle reminder – all said they wouldn’t attend the event.”

In addition, Fine Gael TD Noel Rock told Mr Lenihan that invitations from the FAI, such as the one referenced above, are not “common practice”.

Mr Rock also said the committee’s members were not invited to a similar draw in Dublin’s Convention Centre last December for the qualifying of Euro 2020.

The members of the committee are Solidarity/People Before Profit TD Ruth Coppinger; Sinn Fein TD Imelda Munster; Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy; Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd; Fianna Fail TD Kevin O’Keeffe; Fine Gael TD Noel Rock; Fianna Fail TD Robert Troy; Fianna Fail Senator Mark Daly; Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan; Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony and Independent Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh.

Listen back to Drivetime in full here

Yesterday: Sweet FAI


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33 thoughts on “Injury Time

  1. rotide

    Still waiting for someone to explain why exactly the loan was controversial.

    Unusual for sure, but is there anything ilegal or dodgy about it?

    1. TheQ47

      I believe it’s because of the fact that FAI are grant-aided by Sports Ireland, and if there were difficulties in getting access to money, they (SI) should have been informed. I will stand corrected on that if someone knows of a better reason.


      The agency [Sports Ireland], which oversees the development of sport in Ireland, says “it was not notified at any stage in 2017 about any apparent material deterioration in the FAI’s financial position, as per Sport Ireland’s Terms and Conditions of Grant Approval, and has sought additional clarification in relation to this matter.”

    2. ReproBertie

      I don’t know if it was illegal or dodgy, and I’m sure they’ll have a fine explanation for it by April 10th, but I do know that Sport Ireland are questioning why they were not informed about the FAI’s cash flow crisis when informing Sport Ireland of such things is part of the terms and conditions of receiving grants from Sport Ireland.

    3. V for Frilly

      TBF Rotide
      It is basically checking under the cushions for spare change

      Whether t’was a sub to make payroll or keep the electricity on
      I don’t know
      But the crush on cash didn’t happen overnight and those 11 directors would have had indications in the monthly management packs long before that year end

      Everyone has a right to ask questions here
      We are taking about an organisation that is a household name,
      And that not only has a presence in practically every parish
      It also has a global presence
      It is our representative body in probably the most played game in the World

      Ok their own governing bodies are no saints either
      And Blatter is far from a role model
      But that’s no excuse

    4. rotide

      The thing is, a journalist on second captains yesterday was saying that cash flow is a constant problem in the fai, more or less alluding to seat of the pants governance.

      If it really was a loan to make payroll or keep the lights on , then there really isn’t any need for the hoohaa. However if there’s more to it, then I’m all for the further questioning.

      1. V for Frilly

        Actually there is
        A need for all the hoohaa

        An organisation like the FAI
        With its reach
        It’s turnover
        It’s Asset base
        It’s membership
        It’s own obligations for supervision of its clubs, activities and officers and all the rest of it
        It’s reputation – because it’s ours too, whatever anybody has to say or think about the world of soccer – at any level

        Have a greater requirement to be more transparent and rigorous and sound
        Than say
        Kylemore Motor Factors

        The notion that they have to approach their Directors for a loan is more than worrying

        So stop being a male dangly bit about it

      2. Martco

        @editoR you only get to find out if there’s more to it by further questioning & I’ll tell ya what, I’m personally suspicious as hell

        you mentioned cashflow. well cash doesn’t always flow the way you might normally expect it to in the professional soccer environment. I’ve seen it personally.

        It’s not unusual for people who are up to serious stuff being caught out first on a smaller matter. I beg the question why the redalert court attempt.

        anyway we’ll see

      3. Owen C

        They got a €2m overdraft (as at end 2017). To need to borrow €100k from their CEO is genuinely a bit odd.

    1. rotide

      She can tear all she wants, FIFA has a track record when politicians ‘interfere’ with local FAs.

      It doesn’t matter if the FA in question makes Michael Lowry look like a priest, they protect their own aggresively

  2. Ian-O

    Only in Ireland could a man like Delaney go so far. Well, maybe in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Belarus, Malawi, Kazakhstan, Ukraine or Albania. Or Norn Iron.

  3. eoin

    Wow, just wow!
    Remember the last time the FAI was in hot water over a €5m FIFA loan was that written off in questionable circumstances? Remember THAT time when John Delaney was summoned to the Oireachtas sports committee? Guess what happened. Go on, guess!

    “Earlier this month attempts to bring Delaney before the Oireachtas committee on tourism and sport, to answer questions about the payment, failed after most of its members lost their initial enthusiasm. Some later said publicly that they had been contacted by Delaney.

    “There were overtures,” says Tom Fleming, the Independent TD, who still favours inviting Delaney in. “We were all contacted in some shape or form by the FAI prior to our meeting.”

  4. Dr.Fart MD

    oh no .. AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE! .. he must be terrified. unless he realises, he literally has to show up, and anything after that doesnt matter, coz he’ll walk away from it no matter what. the gov. arent the type to you know, hold millionaires accountable.

  5. Liam Deliverance

    What sort of mismanagement took place in a long established and fairly stable business that they needed a loan to keep the lights on or pay staff salaries?

    Is it not a giant conflict of interest for the head of said organisation, who is supposed to be the CEO and therefore responsible for the mismanagement, to then pay money out of his own account to cover up the mismanagement?

    What is the current state of affairs of the FAI’s books and if they are operating in lean times why maintain a salary of E360k to the CEO, twice the amount his counterpart in Italy or France is paid and with a tenth of the population?

    If the FAI is on the bread line does it have anything to do with paying MON and RK an alleged E2m and E600k respectively (should this wage not be performance based)?

    What does Delaney actually bring to the table in the FAI for this large sum of money, no doubt there is a large team of people already working promotion, sales, marketing etc, what does this genius contribute? Should his salary and that of the management board also be performance related?

    If he is sacked, which is highly unlikely now as he no doubt got some sort of deal or favour for the E100k from his pocket, what is his severance package details?

  6. Liam Deliverance

    SportPesa announced as new FAI partner

    From the FAI link:
    “About SportPesa
    SportPesa is a growing global technology and entertainment company that is focused on sports and entertainment news. As such, our platforms immediately update sport scores and, in certain markets, offer fully licensed, real money gaming services. We are a brand committed to responsibly delivering our services and investing in the development of sports and our communities. We use the power of sport to unify people everywhere; connecting customers with excitement, sports clubs with funding and society with opportunities.”

  7. eoin

    Coincidence! Delaney to be replaced as CEO. But he’s not out.

    “He will assume a different role within the Association, that of Executive Vice President with responsibility for all UEFA and FIFA matters including the proposed World Cup 2030 bid with the UK, the Under 21 Euro bid with Northern Ireland and matters pertaining to the Aviva Stadium from an FAI perspective.”

    Do we really want someone who fought to conceal a significant financial transaction being in the thick of such behind-closed-doors negotiations and contract awards?

    1. V for Frilly

      I’ll give ya a better one t’ spin Eoin

      For a lad who
      For years
      Insisted that he’d be paid those big bucks
      The North of 400k kind
      By any other employer
      As his benchmark for his FAI salary demands

      He was fairly lively dropping his worth

  8. Liam Deliverance

    It’s a disgusting move by the FAI, one the likes of FF or FG would be proud of. The brass neck of the man. To actually be seen out in public, at matches and events, after a stunt like that and no bother to him. I assume he has no requirement to turn up at the Oireachtas hearing now?.Someone else will have to do the lying and the cover up for him. Will he be at the U17 UEFA draw for drinks and dinner that they invited the Oireachtas committee to last week? And what is his new remuneration package as “Executive Vice President”, same salary as CEO or did they sweeten the deal to commence next year when this dies down a bit. Also when is the President stepping down to make way for Delaney, that’s part of the deal somewhere right?

    Miscreant son like miscreant father.

    His father Joe Delaney had been forced to resign as treasurer of the FAI when it was revealed that he had paid £100,000 out of his own pocket to a ticket tout known as George The Greek. He had made the payment to wipe out a shortfall in the FAI’s World Cup ticket account – the result of a serious miscalculation.

    John, then just 27, was in the Westbury Hotel that evening to stand by his father’s side. He never forgot the bloodletting. He vowed to make up for the blow his father had been dealt and bring the Delaney name back to the top of Irish soccer.

    1. Lilly

      ‘And what is his new remuneration package as “Executive Vice President”’

      €120,000 pa apparently. Because he’s worth it.

      1. V for Frilly

        That’s my point Lil
        He was never done telling us
        For years
        That the CEO market would pay him three and more times that

        Now here he is back on the government minister advisor level

  9. Liam Deliverance

    I gonna put that down to the FAI spin machine for now, let’s see what happens in the future. He was having his E3000 a month rent paid for by the FAI too. What was his total package on top of E360k wage, car, rent and all the other perks he was leveraging, corporate box’s etc, invites to FAI functions etc, the brown envelopes and favours from that must be worth another 100k. What is his pension package and is that the stumbling block to getting rid of him, they just can’t afford to sack him, instead kick it down the road for the next batch of yes men and women. If he/they don’t answer, directly, at the Oireachtas meeting then cut state funding and see what they do. It would appear that the accounts of the FAI are not the healthiest after being cooked for a decade or longer, let the FAI go bankrupt or get rid of your toxic puppeteer, your choice FAI.

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