Tag Archives: John Delaney

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.


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.”


Earlier: Will He, Won’t He

Previously: Defensive Wall

Former CEO of the Football Association of Ireland John Delaney


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.


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



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.


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


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”

From top: Marian Finucane, John Delaney; From left: Demot Ahern, Conor Brophy, Brigid Laffan, Elaine Loughlin, Eddie Molloy; Marian Finucane


On RTÉ Radio One’s Marian Finucane show.

Ms Finucane and the show’s newspaper panel discussed the recent matters concerning the Football Association of Ireland that have unfolded since Mark Tighe, in The Sunday Times, reported two weeks ago that the ex-CEO of the FAI John Delaney gave the FAI a €100,000 loan in 2017.

The item on the FAI where Ms Finucane, as she had on the previous week’s show, defended Mr Delaney’s tenure at the FAI (see below) was wrapped up before the show took a break.

Then, after commercials, Ms Finucane told her listeners:

“Now, before we move on, I think I should declare an interest because about ten years ago, when we were qualifying for the World Cup, a charity I’m involved in was nominated as the FAI charity for that trip because our charity works in South Africa.”

But, unfortunately, Thierry Henry did the dickens on us and it never happened.”

Ms Finucane was referring to French player Thierry Henry’s handball during the Ireland V France World Cup qualifying game in November 2009.

Ms Finucane didn’t name the charity but it’s understood she was referring to the charity she and her husband founded Friends In Ireland which aims to help orphaned children affected by HIV and AIDS in South Africa.

However, despite Ireland not playing in the World Cup in South Africa in June 2010, the FAI still announced Friends in Ireland as its “official charity” six days after the World Cup kicked off.

In the same announcement, the FAI said Republic of Ireland international Sean St Ledger had become the charity’s ambassador at the time.

In a press release date June 17, 2010, the FAI said.

As the official charity of the FAI, Friends in Ireland will have bucket collections outside the Aviva stadium on match day and will also avail of a number of other promotional and fundraising activities inside Aviva stadium and at Airtricity League games.”

In the same press release, Ms Finucane was quoted as saying:

“We are honoured and delighted with this partnership with the FAI. We are hoping that all footballers, young and old, and their supporters, will help us to help these wonderful children who find themselves in such tragic circumstances.

“The FAI staff, Sean St. Ledger, Giovanni Trapattoni and John Delaney have been inordinately helpful to Friends in Ireland in developing this partnership.

“While we didn’t get to play football there, the footballing world can nonetheless play a hugely important role in South Africa!

On Ms Finucane’s newspaper panel yesterday were Director of the Global Governance Programme of the European University Institute Brigid Laffan; former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern; political correspondent at The Irish Examiner, Elaine Loughlin; management consultant, Eddie Molloy; and former RTE journalist and now director of strategic communications at Teneo Dublin, Conor Brophy.

As mentioned above, their discussion followed the extensive media coverage about the FAI over the past two weeks since Mr Tighe’s story on the €100,000 loan.

This was a matter Mr Delaney tried to prevent from being reported upon, by going to the High Court seeking an injunction, but failed with Judge Anthony Barr saying: “…the finances of the FAI and any payment and repayment to its chief executive are matters of significant public interest.”

Since Mr Tighe’s story about the loan, Mr Delaney stepped down as CEO, after 14 years, to become executive vice-president of the FAI, while The Sunday Times, last week, reported that the FAI, for several years, paid €3,000 a month in rent for Mr Delaney who, at the time, was earning €360,000.

Yesterday, Mr Tighe wrote an in-depth analysis piece on the FAI’s finances and debt.

Ms Finucane opened the segment by asking Mr Molloy for this thoughts on the recent coverage, telling Mr Molloy “there’s nothing wrong, is there, with lending a company €100,000”.

Mr Molloy said the fact that the transaction by Mr Delaney – who is also on the executive committee of UEFA – wasn’t mentioned in the association’s financial reports “raises questions” and added the fact the CEO was even lending money to the FAI was “bizarre”.

He added:

“I looked at the website yesterday and it’s up to date. But what it says is: John Delaney took up the role of executive vice-president, following his tenure as chief executive. That is done on a Saturday night, the day before it was published in The Sunday Times.

“Now if you read that very carefully, he took up the role of executive vice-president, there wasn’t a role of executive vice-president but he took up the role. Secondly, there already is a vice president.

“Now his role is executive vice president which gives you real decision-making powers. It’s not an honorary vice-president thing, following his tenure as chief executive.

“So this sounds like part of a seamless, planned, state-of-the-art transition from one role to another and it’s all wrong, ok, that’s what I would say.”

Mr Molloy added that half the board members have been on the FAI board for 14 years or more and said he felt “uneasy” that board and committee members were being referred to as “part of the football family”.

Sounding perplexed, Ms Finucane asked why that made him felt uneasy.

Mr Molloy asked her to imagine if all the members of RTÉ’s board were referred to as “family”.

“It’s too tight,” he said, before saying independence is very important when it comes to boards and their members.

Sounding even more perplexed, Ms Finucane said: “But how do you know that this board doesn’t do that? We don’t know that.”

Ms Finucane later said: “I’m surprised that you all resent this word ‘family’.”

Mr Molloy asked Ms Finucane to consider what the board has sanctioned or “stood over” – namely the €100,000 loan and Mr Delaney’s transition from CEO to a €110,000 role that didn’t exist previously.

Ms Finucane replied: “Well, what does it tell you? Except that they’re responding and reacting to a matter that became one of great public interest, concern, etc. I mean they had to do something did they not?”

She continued: “I mean if you take his role with UEFA, I presume it’s very good… that it’s very good to have one of your people on UEFA. But you can’t get that role within UEFA if you don’t have a serious role with your own organisation at home, say, in this instance, the FAI. That’s my understanding of it.”

Mr Molloy said Mr Delaney was voted to his position on the executive committee of UEFA in 2017.

He then added: “What has that got to do with what was played out over the last fortnight? It’s got nothing to do with it.”

Ms Finucane went on to quote an interview given by football pundit and journalist Eamon Dunphy who said that Mr Delaney had done, in her words, “wonderful things” at club level across the country and that he’s “very respected and liked for that”.

She also said of Mr Delaney’s injunction attempt: “Everybody is leaping on the thing about going to the court, every one of us has the right to go to a court at any stage that we want to, on any grounds.”

Former Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern, who said he got into politics because of his involvement in soccer in his early 20s, recalled his dealings with the FAI when he was the Minister for Communications.

At the time, the FAI wanted to sell Ireland’s matches’  exclusive rights to Sky.

Mr Ahern said he had a “huge battle” with the FAI who argued, unsuccessfully, that by doing the deal with Sky, it would create millions for the FAI and that this would, ultimately, trickle down to and help Ireland produce better players.

The former minister said he successfully argued, at the time, that only 250,000 households had Sky subscriptions and young people across Ireland wouldn’t get to see, let alone be inspired, by the matches.

Mr Ahern went on to say he shared Mr Molloy’s concerns about governance at the FAI.

Towards the end of the segment, Ms Finucane had the following exchange with journalist Elaine Loughlin when Ms Loughlin attempted to speak about Mr Tighe’s analysis piece on FAI’s debt.

Loughlin:The Sunday Times has really been to the fore on this in uncovering what is going on in the FAI. And Mark Tighe has a great piece of analysis today and I think it shows a tale of two FAIs. You’ve one FAI where you have millions of debt – a lot of it going back to the redevelopment of the Aviva Stadium and there’s still massive issues of millions, of millions of debt that the FAI is still trying to pay back. And then – ”

Finucane: “Well, I mean, you’ve got to be fair here. It coincided with the crash.”

Loughlin: “It did, but – ”

Finucane: “And there were to be tickets sold that, to look at them, they look like eye-watering prices. But, at that time, people were spending that kind of money. And they had hoped to pay their debt and then the world fell apart. You know, I mean.”

Loughlin: “Yes, but Marian, the world – ”

Finucane: “You can’t blame them for Lehman’s.”

Loughlin: “The world fell apart but, as we’ve seen, in multiple articles now, John Delaney still continued to use the FAI credit card to buy rounds of drinks for supporters, no wonder he’s so popular, as Dermot outlined earlier on.

He was still getting his rent paid, he was still on a massive salary.”

“….it did seem like there was a facade that everything was rosy in the garden of the FAI while they still had these massive debts. So they were acting as if everything was ok.”

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport will question members of Sport Ireland about funding it has granted to the FAI “and related matters” on Wednesday, at 2.30pm.

Mr Delaney and other senior members of the FAI will go before the same committee on April 10.

FAI announce Friends in Ireland as Official Charity (FAI, June 17, 2010)

Listen back in full here

Fine Gael TD and member of the Oireachtas sports committee Noel Rock

Just now.

In the Dáil.

During Topical Issues, the management, finances and funding of the Football Association of Ireland was raised.

It followed the announcement of the FAI at the weekend that John Delaney would be stepping down as CEO but would be taking up a new role as executive vice-president.

The FAI said the move followed the adoption of a recommendations set out in a review of its senior management structure –  which was commissioned in February and carried out by Jonathan Hall Associates.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, who is also a member of the Oireachtas sports committee, told the Sports Minister Shane Ross no terms of reference for this report have been published to date and the FAI has “so far not even responded to our [sports] committee in looking for that report”.

Mr Rock went on to say;

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

“A new position for John Delaney, passed by an unanimous vote.

“This absolutely stinks, minister.

“I met with an expert in sporting governance who is currently undertaking such a review with a sporting body in another jurisdiction. That review is coming to conclusion, that review took a year.

“How could this review only take six weeks?

“Why did the FAI act on it so quickly? Why can’t the FAI supply us with this report, given they already acted unanimously on an element of it?

“Does the minister believe this is good corporate governance?

“Does the minister believe that taxpayers’ money is being deployed effectively?

“Does the minister not believe that now is the time for an independent examination into FAI corporate governance and finances.

“It’s time we looked at where taxpayers’ money is going as there are clear omissions being supplied.”

“On finance, I’ve spoken with current and former employees of the FAI, minister, and I am disturbed by what I’m hearing and the documents I am seeing.

“While we continue working with these sources and readying ourselves to ask questions about what has previously happened within the FAI in our committee, on April 10, I believe that we need to act now to safeguard taxpayers’ money.

“…we see in the public domain today, once again, that for 2019, the FAI requested an early drawdown of State funding from Sport Ireland – this is not the first time it has happened and no explanations have been forthcoming.

“We also saw the revelation of an undeclared directors’ loan by Mark Tighe in Sunday Times. The question has to be asked: why was this necessary? Is it the only time it happened? Why wasn’t it declared?

“Has the minister spoken to Sport Ireland on these matters, does he have any concerns with regard to the undeclared directors’ loan? Does he not agree that further taxpayer funding should be contingent on an independent examiner and an independent examination?

“The original issue which thrust this issue into the public domain was one of borrowed money, minister, but it is quite clear that the board of FAI is now only existing on borrowed time.

“These are important questions minister and they deserve an answer, they deserve a public answer. Thank you very much.”

In response, Sports Minister Shane Ross said, in relation the loan provided by Mr Delaney to the FAI “have raised serious questions about governance and financial controls in the FAI”.

He said Sport Ireland is currently engaged with the FAI to “clarify these matters” and “when the necessary clarifications have been received from the FAI” Sport Ireland will submit a report to him.

He added:

“In the interest of due process, and in the interest of natural justice, it is important that Sport Ireland’s engagement with the FAI would be given the necessary time to ensure that all matters are considered thoroughly. Therefore I do not wish to make an comment on any possible outcome from this ongoing process.”



Watch live here

Earlier: It’s All Kicking Off

Ex-CEO of FAI John Delaney and partner Emma English at the Aviva in 2015; tennis balls thrown onto the pitch at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night

Previously: New Balls, Please

Thrown Down

Hush Now

“John Delaney Could Run Anything”