Tag Archives: John Delaney

Yesterday.

At the NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards…

Mark Tighe, of The Sunday Times, won News Reporter of the Year award, Scoop of the Year award, and Investigative Journalism of the Year award – the latter with Colin Coyle and Paul Rowan – for the newspaper’s work on John Delaney and governance at the Football Association of Ireland.

The Sunday Times also won the Campaigning Journalism Award for the same stories.

In the video above, Mr Tighe, and others, discuss the development of the story.

See full list of winners here

Yesterday: Back Of The Net

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)

Michel Platini (left) and John Delaney at the Aviva in 2015

Platini arrested amid probe into awarding of 2022 World Cup to Qatar (RTÉ)

Previously: Delaney Backs Platini To Succeed Blatter

Pic Uefa

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)