Monday 14 October 2019

Floating Voter podcast: Government TD calls on FAI chief John Delaney to step down

Football Association of Ireland CEO John Delaney. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Football Association of Ireland CEO John Delaney. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Philip Ryan and Cormac McQuinn

A Government TD has called on Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney to step down.

Fine Gael’s Noel Rock said Mr Delaney’s performance as the head of Irish football is not living up to his “Rolls Royce salary” and insisted he should resign from the €360,000 a year position.

Speaking on Independent.ie’s Floating Voter podcast, Mr Rock said: “I think it’s time for John Delaney to step aside.”

“We pay a Rolls Royce salary, €360,000 a year, for John Delaney. Do we get a Rolls Royce performance out of that? I’m not sure,” he added.

Mr Rock said there are “clear issues of governance, of competence and of finance” within the FAI after reports emerged about loan Mr Delaney paid to the Association.  He claimed this issue was “overshadowing” the on field performance of the Irish football team.

The TD’s comment came after the FAI has confirmed that chief executive John Delaney will appear at an Oireachtas committee to be quizzed by TDs and Senators

The organisation has also written to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Sport to say representatives would be "happy" to attend an earlier meeting than the one scheduled on April 10.

A statement this afternoon said: "The Association has offered to bring the April 10 meeting with the Committee forward to April 3 and the FAI awaits the Committee’s response."

It added: "The Association also confirms that CEO John Delaney will lead the FAI delegation to this meeting."

Members of the committee want to quiz the FAI on a €100,000 bridging loan given by Mr Delaney to the association in 2017.

Last night the FAI said it was willing to meet Sports Minister Shane Ross and Sport Ireland, the body which distributes State funding to sporting organisations, in relation to the loan.

It has also written to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement offering clarification on any issues raised by the loan, and said it will answer any questions.

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