Tuesday 15 October 2019

Q&A: What's happened since FAI revelation emerged on St Patrick's Day?

FAI President Donal Conway. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
FAI President Donal Conway. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The latest statements from the FAI - the press release from President Donal Conway and the advance submissions to the Oireachtas committee - provide a fresh twist ahead of their date in the Dáil tomorrow. It's the continuation of a timeline which stretches back to St Patrick's Day and the 'Sunday Times' revelation that then-FAI CEO John Delaney had provided his employer with a bridging loan in April 2017.

When was the first statement?

On the evening of March 16, the FAI released a statement in advance of the 'Sunday Times' story, with the opening line: "The FAI chief executive John Delaney has stated that he provided the FAI with a €100,000 bridging loan in April 2017."

It added that the short-term loan was required to aid a cashflow problem. Quotes from Delaney were included in this release: "This is the only occasion on which I provided the association with a short-term loan," he said.

What happened next?

The following day, a further FAI statement said it had commissioned an external review on governance earlier in March. It included further quotes from Delaney with regard to the April 2017 transaction.

"As CEO, I hold regular meetings with our director of finance regarding the state of our finances and all items arising are conveyed to our board at our monthly meetings," he said. "This was the case in 2017 when I acted in good faith for the benefit of the FAI and will continue to do so."

Was that the last FAI statement on the 'bridging loan?'

No. The FAI released another statement a day later on March 18 which was entitled 'Statement on queries regarding FAI CEO'.

It was to deal with the number of requests the FAI had received in relation to the bridging loan.

Within the release, an FAI spokesman said: "The association reiterates that the bridging loan was made in the best interests of the FAI in 2017 when it experienced a short-term cash flow issue.

"The board of the FAI has been kept fully informed in relation to this matter at all times."

What happened yesterday?

Subsequent FAI statements had discussed changes in governance such as Delaney's new position and updates around their planned Oireachtas appearance.

But there had been no reference to the events of April 2017.

The statement from President Donal Conway detailed how the FAI had told Sport Ireland that 'some recent comments made by the FAI did not accurately reflect the board's level of awareness of the existence of the €100,000 issue in 2017'.

This has placed focus back on the initial statements.

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