Saturday 21 October 2017

Hodgson held talks to take Ireland job -- Delaney

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

FAI chief executive John Delaney yesterday reflected on the chain of events which could have led to the appointment of Roy Hodgson as Ireland boss before the arrival of Giovanni Trapattoni.

Hodgson was interviewed by FAI headhunter Don Givens, but he was approached by Fulham before discussions could progress any further. He accepted the chance to return to the Premier League and that led England's manager in waiting on a different path.

"Don Givens met with him," said Delaney. "I think he got a job quickly with Fulham and he rang to say, 'I've got a job,' and that was the end of that. It was around Christmas time."

Delaney has sympathy with his English counterparts, who must appoint a new boss at a far from ideal juncture.

"It's a very difficult thing to do," he said. "There are popular appointments and less popular appointments, but if the results are good, then he becomes popular."

SATISFIED

Today is the fourth anniversary of Trapattoni's first day in the job, and the FAI are happy with their man. Delaney, who was speaking at a drinkaware.ie event encouraging responsible drinking by supporters in Poland this summer, stressed that Abbotstown officials are satisfied that everything will run smoothly in the team camp.

The FAI's build-up to the Euros will inevitably be compared with the chaos of Saipan before the World Cup in Japan and Korea. Back in 2002, Delaney was critical of then CEO Brendan Menton for not being present on the island when everything kicked off.

Delaney will travel to the pre-tournament gathering in Italy at the end of May, and will hold regular meetings with Trapattoni and skipper Robbie Keane to check that everything is in order.

"I think I should be there," he said. "Myself, Giovanni and Robbie will meet every three or four days to see if there are any issues bubbling."

Delaney declined to discuss the financial aspect of the competition, stating that the overall worth of qualification to the FAI won't be clear until Ireland are knocked out.

He did admit, however, that October's lucrative visit of Germany for a World Cup 2014 qualifier could be worth just as much, given the substantial value of television rights.

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