Tag Archives: John Delaney

Former CEO of FAI John Delaney (second from right) on his way to an Oireachtas committee hearing last month

More as they get it.

Rollingnews

Ah here.

Tonight,

Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin 4

Nick writes:

On the way to the Ireland vs Liverpool Legends game (Sean Cox fundraiser at the Aviva)

Meanwhile

Meanwhile…

Tonight.

Cork City Vs St Patrick’s Athletic League of Ireland match.

Sinn Fein TD and former Cork City chairman Jonathan O’Brien was ejected from from Turner’s Cross last night following a protest against the FAI.

O’Brien – who was part of the Oireachtas Committee that met with the officials of the Association on Wednesday – was escorted out of the ground by Gardai….

TD thrown out of Cork City match at protest against FAI (RTÉ)

Leo Varadkar, then Minister for Sport, and the FAI’s John Delaney at the National Sports Centre in 2013

Leo Varadkar said he doesn’t think anybody would be satisfied by Mr Delaney’s refusal to answer questions about corporate governance at the FAI during his tenure as chief executive.

….Mr Varadkar said Mr Delaney was not a public servant and therefore was not accountable to the Oireachtas Committee on Sport.

But he said Mr Delaney and the FAI were accountable to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and to Sport Ireland, and those bodies still had questions which had to be answered.

Taoiseach criticises Delaney appearance at Oireachtas Committee (RTÉ)

Previously The Nation Holds Its Breath

Earlier.

The FAI delegation, including John Delaney (centre), arrive at Leinster House this morning

Update:

This morning.

Senior members of the Football Association of Ireland, including former CEO and current executive vice-president of the FAI John Delaney, are appearing before the Oireachtas sports committee.

It follows revelations in The Sunday Times on St Patrick’s Day that the former CEO of the FAI John Delaney gave the FAI a “bridging loan” of €100,000 on April 25, 2017 – a loan Sport Ireland said it knew nothing about – and that the FAI paid €3,000 a month in rent for Mr Delaney for several years while he was earning €360,000.

Mr Delaney failed to secure a High Court injunction on the eve of St Patrick’s Day to prevent publication of Mark Tighe’s story about the loan.

On Monday, the FAI’s president Donal Conway released a statement saying, among other things, that previous comments made by the FAI in respect of the loan “did not accurately reflect the board’s level of awareness” about  it.

He added: “This matter is being considered by the board sub-committee.”

The meeting can be watched live above.

Previously: John Delaney on Broadsheet

Meanwhile…

UPDATE:

President of the FAI Donal Conway (above) has told the committee that if all cheques issued by the FAI before the week ending April 28, 2017, had been cashed in, it would have been likely that there would have been “insufficient funds” to cover all the cheques.

He said it was a “short-term issue” as there was a legitimate expectation of funds making their way to the FAI, via “various income streams”, including from tickets, sponsorship, grant funding and “other sources”.

Mr Conway said Mr Delaney’s cheque of April 25, 2017, “provided immediate financial relief” to the FAI – particularly in respect of one creditor’s request to drawdown money from the FAI on April 26.

He said the board acknowledges that the circumstances of the loan was “exceptional”, adding that the loan was repaid on June 16, 2017.

Mr Conway said no contract or agreement was entered into between the FAI and Mr Delaney and no interest or charges were levied, or paid, by the FAI in respect of the transaction.

UPDATE:

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Ruth Coppinger tweetz:

This is how John Delaney is going to play it at the Oireachtas committee.

“I acted in the best interests of the association….I did it [wrote the €100,000 cheque] in the best interests of football.”

Mr Delaney speaking at the committee this morning.

UPDATE:

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy is the first politician to ask questions.

This is because she was the first politician to raise concerns and request Mr Delaney to come before the committee – last year.

Mr Murphy asked Mr Delaney:

“Just to clear one thing up Mr Delaney, you said you recall asking the director of finance [Eamon Breen] about any reporting or disclosure of obligations out of the €100,000 payment, can you recall the response to that?”

Mr Delaney replied:

“I’ve made it clear in my statement, Deputy Murphy, that I can’t add any further to that…given the various investigations that are taking place.”

Ms Murphy turns her attention to Mr Conway and asks him about the statement earlier this week in which he FAI said previous comments about the board’s awareness of the loan were inaccurate.

Mr Conway said, at the time of the loan, three members of the board were aware of it, while other board members became aware of it on March 4, 2019, during a regular board meeting. [The Sunday Times contacted FAI about the loan on March 1].

Ms Murphy later asks why the board was “kept in the dark”.

Mr Conway said: “This is the only occasion that this kind of a transaction actually occurred. And the matter…was dealt with at the level of the finance department and the CEO [Delaney].”

Mr Conway also told Ms Murphy that, while the board were informed of the loan on March 4, there was a conference call about Mr Delaney’s injunction attempt on March 16 (the night of which the injunction took place).

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock asked if the creditor that wasn’t named – but prompted the need for the loan from Mr Delaney – was Dundalk FC.

Mr Conway said: “That’s a matter, an internal matter in the FAI. I’m not going to go into that.”

Mr Rock accepted this and then asked if the “creditor” had made previous requests for funding, before April 25, 2019.

Mr Conway said the FAI would have had an “ongoing dialogue” with that creditor”.

Asked of the FAI was close to becoming “effectively insolvent” at the time of this request for money, Mr Conway said:

“I wouldn’t accept that view. I would draw your attention to our accounts each year. I think we’ve had nine consecutive years of profit. I think cash-flow, as I say, can be a challenge to manage but because of the timing of revenue or income streams, that does make it difficult.

“That doesn’t lead to a situation where you could conclude that the business was not a going concern, or insolvent.”

Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony asked Mr Conway who within FAI made the decision not to inform Sport Ireland about the loan.

Mr Conway said it was “an omission on our part”.

Mr O’Mahony suggested “somebody made a call” not to tell Sport Ireland.

But Mr Conway said: “That may not be the record, deputy.”

Mr O’Mahony also asked Mr Conway about the FAI-commissioned Jonathan Hall and Associates review – which the FAI claims prompted the change of Mr Delaney’s job from CEO of the FAI to executive vice-president of the FAI (a week after The Sunday Times story about the loan).

Asked when the report was commissioned, Mr Conway said “early March”.

[It should be noted Mark Tighe has reported that The Sunday Times first contacted the FAI about the loan on March 1, 2019, his story was published on March 17 and Mr Delaney’s role change was announced on the night of March 24]

Asked about the terms of reference of the review, Mr Conway said: “It was essentially a review into the senior management structure.”

Asked if there were “no specific terms of reference”, Mr Conway said it was a scoping review.

Mr Conway said the completed review was given to the FAI in “late March” and the decision to change Mr Delaney’s role took place “within days”.

Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy asked Mr Conway about the hiring by the FAI of Jonathan Hall for the review.

Mr Conway said Mr Hall had previously done “considerable work for the FAI” in the area of corporate governance.

He then went on to confirm that the review wasn’t put out to tender.

Asked who decided to hire Mr Hall, Mr Conway said: “The board.”

Donal Conway (centre), director of public relations and communications at the FAI Cathal Dervan (back centre), solicitor Aidan Eames (back right)

On March 18 – a day after the loan story broke – the FAI released a statement saying the FAI board was “kept fully informed in relation to the matter [the €100,000 loan] at all times”.

But this wasn’t the case.

Further to this…

Ms Coppinger put to Mr Delaney that he made it clear in his statement, he will not speak about his former role as CEO of the FAI, or the €100,000 loan, but he is willing to speak about his current role.

She asked if it’s fair to say he’s still “double-jobbing” as he currently has two roles – executive vice president of the FAI and being on the UEFA committee.

[Mr Delaney gave an interview to Tipp FM last week saying he was doing three jobs and this was too much for him]

Mr Delaney ultimately said “no” and went on to explain what his roles will require of him.

Ms Coppinger then had this exchange with Mr Delaney…

Coppinger: “Do you think it’s fair that you are answerable to the public in your roles? Including in your current role, given that the public do contribute to the buying of the match tickets, to the football jerseys, to the merchandise and while you’ve said here today, for legal reasons, following the Angela Kerins case, that you’re not willing to talk about it. But do you not think you’ve a duty to answer some questions?”

Delaney: “I’ve read my statement as it is.”

Coppinger: “Ok, well on your current role. Would it be fair or accurate to say that the salary for that is more than the total League of Ireland prize money…”

Fergus O’Dowd [chairman of the committee: “Obviously it’s a question everybody would like answers to in this committee. You [Delaney] don’t have to answer that question, given our…”

Coppinger: “He can if he wants to…”

O’Dowd: “No, no, no, let’s be honest about this now…I’m…”

Coppinger: “He can choose not to…”

O’Dowd: “No, no, what I’m saying is he can answer if he wishes but he doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want to…Our role as a committee is to stay within our remit.”

[Solicitor Aidan Eames passes a note to Mr Delaney]

Coppinger: “Right, well, Mr Delaney has said he’s willing to answer about his current role which is very much connected to, you know, club development, etc, so my questions…”

O’Dowd: “Time is up on this. Everybody will get in again a second time.”

More to follow

This afternoon.

Confirmation from the FAI that its representatives will appear before the joint Oireachtas committee on sport to explain anomalies in their accounts. TDs had given the association until midday today to confirm participation.

Meanwhile

Noel Rock writes:

This paragraph (above) is worth noting – “some comments made by the FAI did not accurately reflect the Board’s level of awareness of the existence of the €100,000 issue in 2017.”

Anyone?

Earlier: Will He, Won’t He

Previously: Defensive Wall

Former CEO of the Football Association of Ireland John Delaney

Anyone?

Related: FAI told to confirm if Delaney will appear before Oireachtas (Jennifer Bray, The Irish Times)

Previously: Kicking Off

 ‘The FAI Letter Did Not Sufficiently Explain The Circumstances Of This Loan’

From top: Ex-CEO of FAI John Delaney; a statement issued by the Ireland’s four provincial football associations about Mr Delaney; a statement released by Limerick FC about Mr Delaney; a tweet last night by Neil O’Riordan, of The Irish Sun

On March 29.

The four provincial football associations released a collective statement praising former CEO of the FAI John Delaney’s contribution to Irish football.

It followed Mr Delaney stepping down from his CEO role and being made executive vice-president of the Football Association of Ireland, days after a March 17 report in The Sunday Times revealed he gave a loan of €100,000 to the FAI in 2017.

Almost three weeks on since the story about the loan broke, the circumstances surrounding the loan are still being sought by Sport Ireland while Mr Delaney will appear before the Oireachtas sports committee next week.

On the same date as the statement from the provincial associations, March 29, the Dublin & District Schoolboys League also released a statement. The statements are very similar.

Then, on Tuesday, Limerick Football Club’s chairman Pat O’Sullivan released a statement expressing the club’s confidence in Mr Delaney.

Again, the Limerick FC statement was very similar to those of the provincial associations and the DDSL.

Last night, Waterford FC owner Lee Power released a statement praising Mr Delaney.

After Neil O’Riordan, of The Irish Sun, tweeted that the figures in the statement were incorrect, the club amended the statement.

Further to this…

You Boys In Green tweetz:

WOW. Passage in Limerick FC statement praising John Delaney is, word for word, the exact same as the original statement from the Provincial Councils. Is there a sample being send to leagues/clubs? All so so similar.

If any club or League has been contacted and asked to make a statement backing John Delaney and wish to contact us, please get in touch. DM here or email youboysingreen@gmail.com Total anonymity, of course.

Meanwhile…

At last night’s Under-17 European Championships draw at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, where there was a drinks reception and dinner – which members of the Oireachtas sports committee were invited to shortly after the loan story broke

Sigh.

Context

Earlier: Mazars Balls

Related: John Delaney understood the value of local support and he hopes it will allow him to resist the pressure from outside the FAI (Neil O’Riordan, The Irish Sun)

John Delaney celebrates after the Republic of Ireland’s victory in a playoff between Estonia and Ireland in 2011

He’s a man of two halves.

Via Eddie Mahon in the Derry Journal:

The overall accusation seems to be that he’s too clever by half but, when you consider that he’s had to cross swords with the toxic crooks at UEFA and FIFA, that’s certainly no bad thing. Our paths have crossed twice – once on a wider issue, and once more personally.

The wider issue was Derry City’s ‘double contract’ trouble in 2009 when we were within an ace of being dumped out of football altogether and it was only Delaney’s good offices and huge influence which saved our bacon.

Then there was the time when big Shane Duffy was worried about his Republic of Ireland future after an incident in a Liverpool bar in which he was an innocent party. Although he was in America at the time, the FAI man rang me back immediately to assure Shane of his full support in the matter.

FIGHT!

John Delaney’s a victim of long standing media vendetta (Eddie Mahon, Derry Journal)

Last night: Kicking Off

Pic: AFP

Former CEO of Football Association of Ireland John Delaney

This morning.

Tipp FM is reporting that former CEO of the Football Association of Ireland John Delaney claims he stood down from his role as CEO – only to take up the newly created role of executive vice-president – due to his increased workload.

Mr Delaney told Jamie O’Flaherty on the radio station’s Extra Time Junior Football Podcast that he had been double and triple jobbing on countless projects which prompted the move.

After he was asked about his new role as executive vice-president of the FAI, Mr Delaney said:

“I’m really looking forward to it. The way it’s been with the association over the last number of years has been, in my own personal case, has been trying to attend grassroots football functions and games every weekend and I’ve given my life to that and I love it. I get great energy out of it. I love helping the clubs, I love meeting the volunteers.

“I love, I love grassroots people.

“And then during the week there’s an organisation with a turnover of €50million and 200 staff, so it’s a huge organisation now and then there’s a huge international dimension – I’m on the board of UEFA as it is.

“But apart from that there is a feasibility study to do a World Cup bid with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – there are meetings in England next week on that and that’s making significant progress.

“There’s an U21 bid for the U21 Euros with Northern Ireland in 2023.

“I mean it’s amazing that that round ball, the football can unite two associations in that regard.

“There’s centralised television deals to be done. We’re staring that process of negotiating that with UEFA which is, you know, a lot of money for the FAI which then means a lot of money for grassroots football and other projects.

“And I could go on. There’s the generation of revenue in other parts of the world like America and Australia – the Irish diaspora which we’ve never really looked at yet.

“And they’re just the snapshot of the projects that I’m now, you know, turning my attention to and it really was impossible to do the three jobs I just laid out to you for, for one person.

“And that’s why the association commissioned an independent report, just to split the duties.”

Mr Delaney is referring to a review of the FAI by Jonathan Hall & Associates.

Last week,  Fine Gael TD Noel Rock told the Dáil:

“Six weeks ago, Jonathan Hall Associates was appointed to provide a report on senior management structures and the role of chief executive officer, CEO, as the FAI plans for the launch of a new strategic report.

“No terms of reference have been published to date and, indeed, the FAI has not even responded to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport’s request for that report.

“Incredibly, within six weeks, that report has been produced in its entirety, with no redrafting required and its contents acted upon, via a unanimous vote of the board, culminating in the announcement of a brand new position for John Delaney. This absolutely stinks.”

In addition…

At 2.30pm 3.30pm today, Sport Ireland’s CEO John Treacy is set to appear before the Oireachtas sports committee to discuss the Football Association of Ireland.

He is expected to tell TDs and Senators that in relation to the Mr Delaney’s job change – just days after news of his €100,000 cheque to the FAI broke in The Sunday Times – Sport Ireland were not consulted about this decision.

Mr Treacy is expected to say that although the FAI put out a press release about this role move on the evening of Saturday, March 23 – the evening before The Sunday Times reported that the FAI had been paying €3,000-a-month rental payments for Mr Delaney while he was earning €360,000 – Sport Ireland wasn’t informed of the decision until it received a letter from the FAI on March 25.

Mr Treacy is also expected to say Sport Ireland was neither consulted on the commissioning or preparation of the Jonathan Hall & Associates report and has not received a copy of it.

Yesterday: ‘The FAI Letter Did Not Sufficiently Explain The Circumstances Of This Loan’

CEO of Sport Ireland John Treacy; former CEO of FAI John Delaney

Tomorrow.

Representatives of Sport Ireland, which is responsible for the investment of public money in sport, will appear before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport at 2.30pm, to answer questions about the Football Association of Ireland.

Chief executive of Sport Ireland John Treacy, in his opening statement to the committee, which Broadsheet has seen, will say that, of the €2.9m Sport Ireland gives annually to the FAI, it is satisfied that this funding is “fully accounted for and expended on the purpose for which it was intended”.

However, he will also say that Sport Ireland knew nothing about the €100,000 loan from the FAI’s former CEO John Delaney to the FAI.

That the FAI’s explanation to date has been “insufficient”.

And that the FAI has also failed to respond to a second letter from Sport Ireland in which the body sought clarification about the loan.

Mr Treacy will also say Sport Ireland knew nothing about the FAI paying €3,000 a month in rent for Mr Delaney over several years, while he was earning €360,000.

And it knew nothing about the apparent deterioration in the FAI’s finances in 2017.

Mr Treacy will also tell the committee that in relation to the stepping down of Mr Delaney as the FAI’s CEO, only to take up a new role as executive vice-president – just days after news of the €100,000 cheque broke in The Sunday Times – Sport Ireland were not consulted about this decision which the FAI say resulted from recommendations made in a review of the FAI by Jonathan Hall & Associates.

Mr Treacy will say although the FAI put out a press release to that effect on the evening of Saturday, March 23 – the evening before The Sunday Times reported on the FAI’s rental payments – Sport Ireland wasn’t informed of the decision until it received a letter from the FAI on March 25.

Mr Treacy will say Sport Ireland was neither consulted on the commissioning or preparation of the Jonathan Hall & Associates report and has not received a copy of it.

Mr Treacy’s opening statement partly reads:

“Following media reports concerning a loan of €100,000 to the organisation by its now former Chief Executive, and at the request of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD, Sport Ireland wrote to the President of the FAI on 19th March seeking urgent clarification from the Board of the FAI on the circumstances of the loan and its repayment.

Sport Ireland also sought an explanation on why we were not notified at any stage in 2017 about any apparent deterioration in the FAI’s financial position, which is a requirement of the Terms and Conditions of Grant Approval.

“Sport Ireland received a response from the President of the FAI, which acknowledged the loan of €100,000 to the FAI by its then Chief Executive.

“However, the contents of the FAI letter did not sufficiently explain the circumstances of this loan and its repayment, nor fully address the matter of compliance with Sport Ireland’s Terms and Conditions of Grant Approval.”

On Monday 25th March, Sport Ireland again wrote to the President of the FAI re-seeking clarification on the circumstances of this loan.

“More detail was also requested by Sport Ireland in order to assess compliance with the Terms and Conditions of Grant Approval.

“Sport Ireland also sought re-confirmation that all state funding provided to the FAI has been spent for the purposes intended and in accordance with approved submissions. At the time of submission, no reply to the second letter has been received from the FAI.

“Sport Ireland is also aware of media reports relating to rental payments made by the FAI on behalf of its former Chief Executive. Sport Ireland has no knowledge of any rental payments which may have been made. As with any NGB for Sport, staffing and contractual arrangements are entirely a matter for the Board of the FAI.”

In his opening statement, Mr Treacy will also recall a query raised about the FAI’s finances and liquidity in 2017:

“The committee should note that, as part of the mid-year financial review of the FAI’s 2017 Financial Statements and in advance of the final tranche of 2018 funding being released to the FAI, Sport Ireland’s Financial Controller raised a query with the FAI in relation to their 2017 liquidity position (specifically the introduction of a bank overdraft facility of €1.3m and the increased net debt position in 2017).

“The query was responded to by the FAI’s Director of Finance, who stated ‘the Net Current Liabilities position is a common annual position mainly driven by Deferred Income balances where advance funds from grants, sponsorship & commercial agreements are being released over the life of the respective agreement. The overdraft position at Dec 2017 was within our Overdraft Facility with our Banking partners and was a matter of timing rather than a liquidity concern – the balance has been in credit for the majority of 2018 to date. The Balance Sheet position was reviewed by the audit team as part of going concern procedures, including reviewing future budgets, and no concerns were raised’.

The Committee should also note that the €100,000 loan from the Chief Executive to the FAI was not disclosed as a separate note in the 2017 Financial Statements and this information was not made available to Sport Ireland at any stage.”

Mr Treacy will also tell the committee that, over the past ten years, the FAI has been audited by Sport Ireland’s independent auditors on more occasions than any other sporting organisation.

These Independent audits took place in 2010, 2014 and 2016, with all findings reported to Sport Ireland’s Audit & Risk Committee.

Mr Treacy will also tell the committee that in 2017, its investment in the FAI represented about 5% of the FAI’s total annual income, with the other 95% coming from the FAI’s commercial activity including sponsorship deals, broadcasting and gate receipts.

Yesterday: “I’m Surprised That You All Resent This Word Family”