Thursday 19 September 2019

John Delaney insists loss of Denis O'Brien funding will not stretch FAI


From left, FAI President Tony Fitzgerald, Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, FAI CEO John Delaney and Republic of Ireland Women's head coach Colin Bell
From left, FAI President Tony Fitzgerald, Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, FAI CEO John Delaney and Republic of Ireland Women's head coach Colin Bell
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill. Photo:Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

John Delaney insists that the loss of Denis O'Brien's backing will not affect the FAI's ability to pay the salaries of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane and fund other developments in Irish football.

O'Brien had been helping the FAI pay the wages of the senior management team since the appointment of Giovanni Trapattoni in 2008 but the arrangement drew to a close at the beginning of this year.

It's believed that the businessman was paying around 70pc of the combined salaries for O'Neill (pictured) and Roy Keane.

Their current package is understood to be close to €2m per year, and the FAI are now picking up the entire tab but Delaney says it's not a problem.

"I think it was €12.5m or something like that which he contributed over the number of years," said Delaney yesterday.

"We knew in the contracts this time around that it wouldn't be available. When we negotiated contracts with the management team last time, we knew that would not be part of it.

"We had planned for it," said Delaney, denying that it would affect other projects.

He added that the FAI were not looking for a replacement benefactor.

"You never say never but we're not out for looking for someone," he said. "We'll stand on our own two feet now."

After the January confusion around O'Neill's future, Delaney is relaxed about the prospect of a summer managerial merry-go-round.

"We expect fully that Martin and Roy will see their contract through this time around, like they've done before. I think they know their aim is quite simple – to get to the Euros," he said.

"Wouldn't it be marvellous to get to the Euros and have two games in Dublin? That's the biggest prize we've ever had for qualifying for a European tournament."

Delaney was speaking in Cork at the launch of the association's Festival of Football and AGM which will take place on Leeside in August.

He used the visit to stress that the development of a Munster centre of excellence in Glanmire is high on the FAI's agenda along with the redevelopment of Dalymount Park.

They will be the main priorities when the FAI make applications for their piece of the €50m in sports capital funding announced by Minister Shane Ross before Christmas.

"We'll be looking for €6m from the state and it costs €11m in total," said Delaney, with regard to Glanmire.

The Dalymount project is being driven by support from Dublin City Council, with Delaney still predicting completion by 2022.

Meanwhile, Delaney confirmed that Waterford FC will need a special dispensation to participate in European football next year if they qualify as their trading company is less than three years old.

Owner Lee Power did clear debts left by the old entity which should strengthen their case in the eyes of UEFA.

Irish Independent

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