Wednesday 23 October 2019

FAI staff fear for their jobs are in the balance as UEFA set to bring in cutbacks to steady finances

 

The burden of ongoing reviews has added to the FAI’s problems, but Aviva Stadium borrowings remain the main concern. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
The burden of ongoing reviews has added to the FAI’s problems, but Aviva Stadium borrowings remain the main concern. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

FAI staff are bracing themselves for cutbacks as the Abbotstown hierarchy get to grips with the scale of the financial crisis facing Irish football.

It is now accepted, internally, that austerity measures will have to be put in motion to steer the FAI through choppy waters.

Officials from UEFA have been in Dublin this week to assess the health of the troubled association.

Sources have indicated that the picture is much worse than had been initially anticipated.

UEFA are providing a safety net of around €10m to the FAI to keep the show on the road.

But the European body will also advise their member association on measures to improve their position.

In May, the FAI responded angrily to SIPTU claims that 200 jobs could be at risk.

Staff cuts have not been ruled out of the equation, however, although it is understood that contractors and consultants, working for the FAI, are likely to be the initial targets in a bid to trim costs.

The burden of ongoing reviews has added to the FAI's problems, but Aviva Stadium borrowings remain the main concern.

Stadium debt stood at €29m last year; the pressure of repayments has hung over the FAI for the past decade due to the failure to sell enough premium level tickets.

Ex-CEO John Delaney had suggested the FAI had the option of being debt-free by 2020.

That plan has been shelved by the interim board, but pushing out the repayment dates has not eased the pressure on the FAI.

Irish Independent

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