Wednesday 22 May 2019

Bank of Delaney - former FAI chief gave €36,000 loan to business

Controversy: John Delaney and his partner Emma English at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday. Photo: Sportsfile
Controversy: John Delaney and his partner Emma English at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday. Photo: Sportsfile
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

John Delaney gave a furniture and property investment company an interest-free loan of more than €35,000 around the same time he gave the FAI a €100,000 "bridging" loan.

The Irish Independent can today reveal details of another advance worth tens of thousands provided by the former football association chief executive - now its executive vice president - to one of his private companies.

This week we revealed how Mr Delaney lent almost €250,000 to JMPHE, a building and property-rental company in which he owns a 25pc share.

Records lodged with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) show in 2017 Mr Delaney also loaned €36,328 to another company called Gerfurn. It was interest-free and repayable on demand.

Mr Delaney owns 66.6pc of Gerfurn, whose principal activity is "furniture manufacturing", but whose filings show it owns a number of properties "held to earn long-term rental income and for capital appreciation".

There were no staff costs or employees recorded for the furniture manufacturer in its 2017 financial year and one staff member in 2016.

Gerfurn's office is registered in The Mall, Thurles, Co Tipperary, where its accountants are based, but it previously had a business address in Athlone.

It appears Mr Delaney's loan was paid back in full.

Accounts for the year ending March 2018 don't show any directors loans at the company. Gerfurn sold one investment property in December 2017 for €127,500, although the accounts note the previous value of it was €132,000.

In 2017, Gerfurn's auditor resigned after its board of directors, which is Mr Delaney and Clodagh Kevlin, determined the company was exempt from presenting audited financial statements owing to its size.

The FAI did not respond to a request for comment from it, or Mr Delaney, about the loan.

Gerfurn's accounts for the year to March 2015 record while it made a loss for that and the previous year, its "majority shareholder" confirmed he would provide financial support for the foreseeable future.

Mr Delaney provided the FAI with a €100,000 bridging loan in 2017 to help the association through a cash-flow problem.

The property firm JMPHE owed him €222,485 in loans for the year ending February 2018.

Last weekend, the FAI announced Mr Delaney was stepping aside as CEO, but was taking on a new role as executive vice-president.

The role comes with a reported salary of €120,000. His previous salary was €360,000 per year.

Fans protested against Delaney at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday by throwing tennis balls on to the pitch during Ireland's 1-0 win over Georgia.

Meanwhile, a junior football club has distanced itself from a statement made by the North East Football League [NEFL] in support of John Delaney and said they have never been asked for their opinion on the FAI's former CEO.

A statement was released on Thursday night by secretary of the NEFL Gerry Gorman outlining the league's supporting Mr Delaney. But NEFL club Ardee Celtic said they did not support this statement and were not consulted with Mr Gorman confirming to the Irish Independent that clubs were not asked for their opinions prior to its release.Mr Gorman said Mr Delaney had "assisted us in getting the maximum grant aid for sporting facilities here on numerous occasions".

"We didn't feel the need to consult Ardee Celtic or any other club to sign off at that point, so I fail to see why they should be making a big deal of them not being consulted with us signing off acknowledging the fact that Mr Delaney did play his part in helping us out and all we done was list a number of items that we felt he was directly responsible for," he said.

Mr Gorman had said they backed the support already offered by provincial football associations in Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster.

Ardee Celtic said they had not been asked their opinion on Mr Delaney: "As a member club of the North East Football League, Ardee Celtic FC would like to put it on record that last night's statement by the NEFL is not representative of our club's stance on the FAI's executive vice president."

Irish Independent

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