Thursday 22 August 2019

Niall Quinn set to repeat calls for rise in State funding of soccer after Shane Ross outburst

Niall Quinn brings forward his proposals for changes in Irish soccer. Picture: Sportsfile
Niall Quinn brings forward his proposals for changes in Irish soccer. Picture: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Leaders of a consortium established by Niall Quinn are set to use a stakeholders' forum this Friday to tell Sports Minister Shane Ross to push for increased State funding of soccer.

And they will be using his stinging criticism of the FAI as evidence to support their claim that it is justified.

Funding has currently been suspended due to Government unhappiness with the FAI due to the recent crisis emanating from John Delaney's bridging loan to his employers.

Mr Ross and the FAI are at loggerheads over the appointment of Noel Mooney as interim boss on a six-month secondment from Uefa.

Mr Ross was strongly critical of the move in a 'Sunday Independent' article, citing Mr Mooney's past as an FAI employee under Mr Delaney.

A governance review group is currently exploring future options for the FAI and a collection of business people put together by Mr Quinn is part of the process.

They have also been invited to a stakeholders' forum in Dublin this Friday which has been arranged by Mr Ross.

Ex-Digicel employee and founder of the Caribbean Cricket League Kieran Foley has flown in to attend with Mr Quinn.

They have put together a plan which relies on Government funding to support the construction of academies.

As it stands, the State contributes €2.5m per annum to the FAI.

In his 'Sunday Independent' piece, Mr Ross said that the "nation cares about soccer" and the "national passion deserves better".

Those points are likely to be repeated to him in the drive for Government backing to fund necessary reforms.

Mr Quinn's team will point to the support received by the horse racing and greyhound racing industries which collected €80m last year from a levy on all bets in Ireland - including on soccer.

Former Ireland striker Mr Quinn refused to give details on his plans at a Virgin Media event in Dublin yesterday, stating that he is looking forward to outlining his "worthwhile proposal" to Mr Ross and other stakeholders on Friday.

Irish Independent

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