Sunday 20 October 2019

Revealed: Second CEO gave €100k loan to Irish sports association

Warren Deutrom, who has been CEO of Cricket Ireland since 2006, made the short-term loan in October so that staff, and some creditors, could be paid. Photo: Sportsfile
Warren Deutrom, who has been CEO of Cricket Ireland since 2006, made the short-term loan in October so that staff, and some creditors, could be paid. Photo: Sportsfile

John Greene and Ger Siggins

Cricket Ireland received a €100,000 loan from its chief executive last year after encountering significant cash flow problems, the Sunday Independent has learned.

Warren Deutrom, who has been CEO of Cricket Ireland since 2006, made the short-term loan in October so that staff, and some creditors, could be paid. The loan was repaid on December 7 last.

According to documents seen by the Sunday Independent, "the loan was properly documented in a loan agreement at the time".

However, the board was not informed until recently, after details of John Delaney's controversial loan of €100,000 to the FAI became public.

Mr Deutrom is one of the country's most highly regarded sports administrators and there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on his part.

At the time of the loan, Cricket Ireland was chasing a payment it was due for almost $1m (€890,000).

In October 2018, senior management staff voluntarily deferred payments due to them to help alleviate the cashflow problem. Speaking to the Sunday Independent last night, Mr Deutrom said: "It was a very trying time, there's no doubt about that. It was very stressful."

Details of the loan will be recorded in Cricket Ireland's financial accounts.

In a briefing note to board members earlier this month, Bill Cunningham, the chair of Cricket Ireland's finance committee, says that while previous board meetings had discussed cash flow issues, "pressure on cash" became "acute" in "October and throughout November 2018".

Mr Cunningham says that Mr Deutrom offered a short-term loan of €100,000 "having exhausted all other potential sources of funds". Before the loan was made, Mr Deutrom consulted with Ross McCollum, the chairman of the board, and Mr Cunningham. John Treacy, the CEO of Sport Ireland, was also informed.

It's understood that Sport Ireland made overtures for emergency funding on Cricket Ireland's behalf. However, Sport Ireland was not in favour of the loan being made.

Mr Cunningham sought advice from Beauchamps Solicitors and established that it was "legally permissible" for Mr Deutrom to provide the loan. Mr Deutrom raised the matter again last month with Mr Treacy, Mr McCollum, Mr Cunningham and with Anne Nolan, chair of Cricket Ireland's governance committee. In the briefing note, Mr Cunningham says that this was done "following the disclosure of a loan made by John Delaney, the chief executive of the FAI, to that organisation and the negative publicity which this matter attracted".

Cricket Ireland again took advice on the loan and alerted the company's auditors. The advice received was that because Mr Deutrom was not a director and the loan had been repaid before the end of the financial year, "no disclosure would be required in the financial statement". However, they were also advised to alert the board. Separately, Mr Cunningham says that John Treacy advised Cricket Ireland to make a full disclosure in its financial statements for 2018.

During Mr Deutrom's term as CEO, he has overseen a radical overhaul of the game in this country.

Sunday Independent

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