Friday 27 April 2018

Delaney: FAI debt-free by 2020

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

JOHN DELANEY will today deliver an update on the state of the FAI's finances at the association's annual general meeting in Ennis.

Delaney remains bullish in his assertion that the FAI will be debt-free by 2020, despite increased borrowings to repay the cost of building the Aviva Stadium -- and the disastrous sale of Vantage Club premium level tickets which were supposed to cover that outlay.

The chief executive has asserted that he will allay all fears when he addresses the delegates.

The accounts for 2010 show that the association's debt stands at €67.1m, the vast majority of which needs to be repaid by 2015.

Yesterday, Delaney announced that the FAI had received a €3m grant from UEFA's 'Hat-Trick Scheme', an initiative launched back in 2003.

In the 2008-2012 cycle, national associations are entitled to a maximum of €1.3m a year in solidarity payments.

Of that, a maximum of €500,000 may be put towards running costs, with the rest to be spent on UEFA development and incentive schemes.

Delaney, who will provide details of the breakdown of this grant at the AGM, asserted yesterday: "Today's announcement is very positive for the FAI on our road to a debt-free status by 2020 and will see us ahead of our repayment schedules for the next 12 months."

Over the past year, cost-cutting measures have been implemented to reduce the strain on finances with a number of senior staff members let go, including technical director Packie Bonner.

Delaney, who was on a salary worth €430,000, said in December that he would take a substantial pay-cut in line with Giovanni Trapattoni's reduction. He is yet to reveal more specific terms, but has indicated he will take questions on the matter after the meeting today.

Satisfied delegates at last year's AGM were shown a detailed business plan by then finance director Mark O'Leary, which plotted the path ahead. However, O'Leary left the association within a matter of weeks.

It remains to be seen if there will be any probing questions from the floor this time around.

Irish Independent

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