Tuesday 17 September 2019

'I'm sad that I have to justify myself over foundation,' says Giles

Former Ireland player and manager John Giles
Former Ireland player and manager John Giles
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Irish football legend John Giles has spoken of the foundation that bears his name after concerns were raised about it in the wake of the controversy surrounding the FAI and its former CEO John Delaney.

He said he was "sad" to be in a position where he has to justify himself following revelations about the FAI, but insisted he isn't worried "because I haven't done anything wrong".

The FAI confirmed earlier this week that Mr Delaney had "voluntarily stepped aside" from the organisation. But speaking to Newstalk's 'Off the Ball' programme, Giles said the time was now right for him to resign from the association.

He said: "I think that there is such an amount of criticism now, and things have got to such a stage where the right thing to do would be to resign.

"I think it has got to the stage where there is a lack of confidence in the whole situation, and the board are resigning en bloc, and it would be very difficult for John to stay on," he said.

Asked if he was concerned about money for the John Giles Foundation being used in the right way, he added: "I'd be confident that the money that came into the trust went out in grants to the teams around the county that applied for them. I'd be very disappointed and surprised if that didn't occur.

"I don't think the newspaper guys are after me. They're after what they could get from it against John Delaney

"I feel a little bit sad that I'm in a position where I have to justify myself. I'm not worried about it because I know I haven't done anything wrong. I know that I haven't taken any money from the foundation.

"I believe in the foundation and I hope I'll continue to work in the foundation. I think the foundation over the last nine or 10 years has raised a lot of money."

Giles also reiterated that Grant Thornton was employed two years ago within the foundation, and it was given "a clean bill of health".

He was also keen to reiterate that he is still happy to lend his name to the foundation and hopes that its work continues for much longer.

Irish Independent

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