Monday 14 October 2019

DDSL statement backing former FAI CEO John Delaney was not ratified by the board

The DDSL released a statement backing John Delaney
The DDSL released a statement backing John Delaney
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

A statement released by the Dublin District Schoolboys League backing former CEO of the FAI, John Delaney, was not ratified by the league’s board.

Ireland's largest league last night released the statement to "recognise the contribution and hard work John has made during his tenure as CEO to grassroots football". understands the statement was not ratified by the board and not all board members were consulted before its release. Five DDSL clubs we contacted also confirmed that they were not consulted.

The decision to support Delaney follows a similar move by the provincial councils and the North East Football League earlier this week.

The provincial council statement, issued on behalf of the Leinster, Connacht, Munster and Ulster FAs, was signed by Peter Doyle, Gerry Tully, Ger Delaney and Herbie Barr as well as the secretary of the Junior Council, Denis Cruise.

It was reported this week in the Times Ireland edition that the salaries of full-time positions of the provincial administrators have, at some stage since 2010, been subsidised by the FAI.

There is anger among sections of grassroots football as clubs from the respective leagues were not consulted before the three statements were released.

Alan Caffrey, head of youth development of one of the DDSL's largest clubs St Kevin's, expressed his displeasure on Twitter, asking: "Who gave you the right to speak on behalf of the clubs?"

In their statement, the DDSL make reference to their use of facilities at Abbotstown.

Their access to pitches at the government-owned Sports Campus Ireland was only secured after they forked out a €500,000 up front payment to rent pitches for 15 years.

Once that deal expires, the DDSL revert to square one with no stake derived from their investment.

Speaking recently, former Ireland striker Niall Quinn expressed his bewilderment at the arrangement.

Quinn stated most national football federations provide these facilities free of charge to affiliates, especially one such of the DDSL which has for 76 years produced the vast majority of senior international players.

However, given the recent revelations about their cashflow problems, the FAI were in desperate need of financial assistance.

Paddy Dempsey, chairman of the league's executive committee, was unavailable for comment.

The North East Football League backed the provincial council in their statement signed off by league secretary Gerry Gorman.

But NEFL club Ardee Celtic said they did not support this statement and were not consulted with Mr Gorman confirming to that clubs were not asked for their opinions prior to its release.

"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," the statement read.

"Our club has never been asked for our opinions on any such matters and nor have any other club's in the league as far as we're aware."

The club added that if the statement represented Mr Gorman or the league committee it should have been indicated within the statement.

Delaney stepped down as CEO of the FAI to take up a position of Vice President of the FAI last Saturday amid intense pressure over a €100k loan to the association.

Delaney and the FAI are scheduled to appear in front of an Oireachtas Committee on April 10 to answer questions about the FAI's finances and corporate governance issues.

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