FAI boosted by €4m Sky Sports deal
THE FAI yesterday received a major boost to their coffers when they signed a new four-year deal with broadcasting giants Sky Sports.
The deal is believed to be worth an estimated €4m, which would provide a welcome boost as Ireland's football body continues to count the cost of the country's elimination from the World Cup at the qualification stage last November.
Speculation, meanwhile, is still rife that the ticket-selling venture for the new Aviva Stadium is struggling to meet its targets, with Chief Executive John Delaney repeatedly refusing to go into detail on sales.
The FAI is currently struggling with debts, primarily emanating from their estimated €74m commitment to the new stadium. Last year's AGM in Monaghan revealed they had racked up an operational debt of €16m in 2008 -- the previous year they had made a profit of €4m.
The television deal, which runs until 2014, means that Sky Sports will continue to hold exclusive rights to Ireland's home friendlies, while they will also show the home qualifiers for major tournaments on a simultaneous basis with RTE.
"Sky Sports have been excellent partners for Irish football and I am very happy to renew the relationship with them for a further four years," said Delaney. However, when contacted yesterday, the FAI refused confirm the figure involved.