Tag Archives: Football Association of Ireland

Former FAI CEO John Delaney and Sports Minister Shane Ross

This morning.

Sports Minister Shane Ross gave an interview on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland when he was asked if was “bailing out” the Football Association of Ireland.

In response, he said:

“I hate that sort of expression. What we’re doing at the moment is we are looking after the €2.9million which we give, which we have been giving to the FAI. We’ve withdrawn that funding and what we’re going to do there, is ensure that that gets to the small clubs.

“We’re going to absolutely ensure that that gets to the players, to the grassroots, and that it doesn’t go near the FAI because the FAI… bail-out is a very pejorative word. But it’s a basket case.

“And to ask the Government to come in and bail it out, when we don’t even know the extent of the black hole there, it’s an appalling vista and to ask us to bail it out? No. That’s not going to happen.

“We want to protect taxpayers’ funding. We also want to protect the grassroots. They’re the important people. We’re interested in football, not so interested in the FAI.

Listen back in full here

RELATED: Where was Shane Ross in 2017 when he could have done something about the FAI crisis? (Neil Cotter, The Irish Sun, October 8th, 2019)

Yesterday: Vanessa Foran: Let’s See That Again In Slow Motion

Previously: At The End Of The Day: €55,067,472

Pic: RTÉ


Former FAI chief executive John Delaney in 2006 (top) and today (above)

This morning.

On RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Seán O’Rourke.

Following on from Executive Vice-President of the Football Association of Ireland John Delaney resigning on Saturday evening after securing a deal for an undisclosed sum – with The Irish Times reporting the deal was worth up to €500,000 and the Irish Independent reporting it was worth €350,000

Mr O’Rourke spoke to John O’Regan, honorary secretary of the FAI’s Kerry District League for 40 years and senior council member of the FAI; Brendan Menton, former general secretary of the FAI; and Stuart Gilhooly, solicitor with the Professional Football Association of Ireland.

Mr Menton told Mr O’Rourke:

“My first point would be: if this announcement and agreement is a sign of the new corporate governance of the FAI then it can only be described as a spectacular failure. I think one of the principles of the corporate governance proposals was accountability and transparency and I think that scores a zero in this deal.”

Mr Menton also said he took issue with reports that FAI president Donal Conway led the negotiations in the resignation deal, and the timing of the resignation – as it comes one week before the publication of an audit report into the FAI.

Mr Gilhooly said he wasn’t surprised to learn about the deal and that it was “inevitable”.

However, he said the timing of the deal is “odd”.

He said:

“In those types of agreements, there will always be a confidentiality clause so I’d be surprised if we get to find out exactly what has been paid unless it does arise at the AGM.

“So I don’t think anybody will want to breach that clause. Indemnity-wise, it’s difficult to know what would be in it but you would imagine that both sides would have sought indemnities from each other.

“So, I would suspect we won’t be hearing from John Delaney in any form in the future.”

In response to Mr Gilhooly’s point about confidentiality clauses in such agreements, Mr Menton said:

“The FAI is not a business, the FAI is a public organisation that is owned by its clubs, its members, its players. They’ve been ignored, and they’ve continuously been ignored. It doesn’t belong the directors, the council members or indeed the employees of the association, it belongs to the members.”

Mr O’Regan, who has previously defended Mr Delaney, said the FAI is a business and is run as a business.

“An awful lot of stuff that John Delaney has done is being forgotten about. The start of the whole thing is that he gave a loan of €100,000 to the FAI and I mean, like [comedian] Jason Byrne said while ago [on Ryan Tubridy show] …a mountain out of a molehill [this comment was not made in respect of Mr Delaney] and I think Stuart Gilhooly has been right there, confidential clauses are the norm for these type of deals and I think, you know, they were looking for a change of board from the old board and we got a change of board.

“These people have decided that now is the right time to come to an agreement with John Delaney and get the issue out of the way. I’m very surprised by Brendan Menton accusing people of brushing stuff under the carpet.

“This is something that was levied at the GAA for years, yet they are a fantastic organisation.”

Asked if he has any concerns about how much money might have been paid to Mr Delaney, Mr O’Regan said:

“As I said, there were people put in charge to come to an agreement with John Delaney. I’m quite sure it isn’t what John Delaney would have expected at the start but it is an agreement between two bodies that decided that this is what it should be.

“And I think we should honour that agreement if there is a confidentiality clause, as Stuart said, that is there and it’s there in every company.”

He added calls for the amount of money to be disclosed are “a bit rich”.

Later, Mr O’Rourke asked Mr O’Regan about a point made by someone who had texted into the show: “If you get taxpayers’ money for funding, you must be completely transparent”.

Mr O’Regan said:

“Listen. We are completely transparent in…the taxpayers’ money that they’re talking about is a Sports Capital Grant. Those four capital grants are going to the likes of the Kerry District League, the Clare District League, Limerick District League and all the clubs throughout the length and breath of the country.

“The grassroots people have no problem with how money is being spent. We spend it properly. All you have to do, or Shane Ross has to do, or Brendan Menton or anybody, take one trip down to The Kingdom.

“Come down to Kerry, have a look at Mounthawk Park, all the grounds throughout the length and breadth of Kerry ….every penny that we got from the Sports Capital Grant has been spent in a correct way and I can assure you the minister has got great value for money from sport capital funding.”

Listen back in full here

Concern Delaney deal struck days ahead of audit report (RTE)

John Delaney inflicted a decade of austerity on everyone in Irish football except himself (Ken Early, The Irish Times)

As John Delaney finally departs the FAI it’s a case of goodbye and good riddance to the emperor with no shoes (Neil O’Riordan, The Irish Sun)

Drama & controversy followed John Delaney like a cloak (Tony O’Donoghue, RTE)

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