Football Association of Ireland’s Annual Report 2017/18; John Delaney; Vanessa Foran
That was my first impression of the FAI Annual Report (year ending 2017).
It’s a healthy 137 pages, and shares news and updates from all their activities, from U-15 Internationals, to Child Welfare to the Defence Forces. It’s glossy, shiny, and loud, like the Green Army on tour, only on paper.
While it might be nice to flick through, most of that update stuff can be easily shared via the internet.
The Financial Statements you’ve all heard about start with the Financial Overview on page 93. and are completed by page 120, so there isn’t too much distraction from the fixtures and action shots. On a side note, I have never seen such small print in an annual report – I had to go to 130%.
The top line: Turnover – what is interesting is that they had a trading surplus of €2,758,063.00. This is very nice, given the size and obvious limitations of their market; and even nicer is that it sits on top of a previous year surplus of €2,344,291.00.
Both figures accumulating into reserves of €22,323,111.00 (page 104), which definitely drives the questions – why is the League of Ireland prize pot so small and why were they so miserable stumping up for our women’s sides?
A big red flag for me is their Short-Term Creditors – less than 12 months – which is basic day-to-day working capital. Cash, and the cost of it. Year end 2017 introduces a current account Bank Overdraft – €1,363,107.00.
This is a movement from a cash on hand balance at year end 2016 of €937,447.00 to a cash crunch position, and that swing is not explained sufficiently in the promised note 11; cash and cash equivalents.
This €2.3-ish million run happened over a very short period and demonstrates some really poor financial control; and this information was only extracted from the notes, not from the balance sheet.
So, it might be worth looking into the minutes of meetings during the period to see if there were any comments on the month-on-month management accounts to board. That’s where these loans to and from the FAI might be found.
Also interesting is the role, or more accurately, roles, of Deloitte.
Their fees are up from €102,772.00 to €134,554.00; this might not sound like a lot of money but it’s a 24 per cent increase and contains €26,180 for other assurance services – which is worth exploring because also in the €134,554.00 is €44,285 for fees other than audit.
So what other services do we think Deloitte are providing (and if it’s any help, it’s not tax and it’s not internal audit.)
Another thing that doesn’t seem healthy or efficient is that there seems to be loads and loads of personnel rowing in an out of the FAI at strategic level. There is a board of management of 11, which includes John Delaney, and a national council of 58, along with circa 180 staff members around the country.
But, for the life of me, I can’t find the list of directors of the company.
There is a Hon. Treasurer Eddie Murray; and an audit committee; maybe someone credentialed might be in a position to ask for the minutes of this audit committee too, because they would be the principle liaison with Deloitte.
Worth a mention, the old reliable here, is that John Delaney’s salary is the only one itemised; and that doesn’t make sense to me; in Related Party Transactions? If he’s a director, it is in Directors Emoluments €360,000 (and that’s what’s there.)
So did the FAI loan or borrow €360,000 from a Related Party?
Officers Emoluments are recorded as €70,000; naturally these wouldn’t be day-to-day expenses claimed from staff attending meetings and events as these would naturally be charged to overheads. Again, these are items within the monthly reports to board, which is where most of the intrigue could be unravelled.
I would love to explore the relationship Deloitte have with the FAI and an FAI “Donor” a bit more, o if anyone is available for some digging and drilling, please do reach out.
Also, if someone can explain the software licencing to me – as in what software licensing they have acquired – as it seems very extravagant to me.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that of the total income for the year that was 2017; 12.5% of it came from grants. So sometimes it’s worth noting that for the large part of the year, they were doing something right.
Vanessa Foran is a principal at Recovery Partners.
Previously: For The Last Time, It Was A BRIDGING Loan
Dinner and Drinks – the FAI invite to TDs and Senators just days before they’re due to grill it’s CEO John Delaney on that loan.
Coming up on @drivetimerte
— Barry Lenihan (@BarryLenihan) March 20, 2019