Sunday 26 May 2019

FAI 'shocked and disappointed' with SIPTU claims that the association is in a 'precarious financial position'

Flags at FAI HQ.
Flags at FAI HQ.
Jim McConnell pictured at FAI HQ today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pictured leaving their meeting with The FAI today were FIFA’s Sarah Solemale and Bjorn Vassallo, Director, Membership Association’s Europe FIFA and Donal Conway, FAI President at Abbottstown. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pictured leaving their meeting with The FAI today was FIFA’s Bjorn Vassallo, Director, Membership Association’s Europe FIFA with Donal Conway, FAI President at Abbottstown. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pictured leaving their meeting with The FAI today were FIFA’s Sarah Solemale and Bjorn Vassallo, Director, Membership Association’s Europe FIFA with Cathal Dervan, FAI Public Relations and Communications and Donal Conway, FAI President at Abbottstown. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pictured leaving their meeting with The FAI today was FIFA’s Bjorn Vassallo, Director, Membership Association’s Europe FIFA with Donal Conway, FAI President at Abbottstown. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
A general view of the Aviva Stadium. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Anne-Marie Walsh

SPORTS minister Shane Ross has been asked to convene an urgent meeting amid fears for up to 200 jobs at the FAI.

SIPTU official Denis Hynes said he is seeking the meeting to discuss a jobs threat due to the football association’s "precarious financial situation".

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement is investigating the FAI’s finances following revelations that chief executive John Delaney gave the organisation a loan of €100,000 in 2017.

"We have received information that the FAI is in an extremely precarious financial situation," said SIPTU Sport Sector Organiser, Denis Hynes.

"This has caused great concern to our members who are employed by the FAI."

He said although the government does not have a role in running the organisation under FIFA rules, the situation requires the minister’s "direct attention".

"We are seeking an urgent meeting with the minister to directly inform him of our concerns and discuss any possible intervention that can be made to alleviate this critical situation," he said.

The union represents development officers, coaches and administrative workers at the FAI as well as players through an affiliation with the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland.

The FAI expressed their 'shock and disappointment' at today's statement from SIPTU, saying the claims made were 'unfounded'.

At a meeting of the FAI Council this afternoon, President Donal Conway outlined how the FAI had recently engaged with UEFA when assurances were given regarding their support for the Association.

President Conway said: "As I outlined to our Council meeting today, we recently met with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin and Director of National Associations Zoran Lakovic. At that meeting in Nyon, they assured us of the full support of UEFA for the FAI as we go through our current processes. UEFA’s support will ensure the continued viability of the Football Association of Ireland and there is no threat to FAI Operations or to FAI staff."

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