Tuesday 23 April 2019

'Someone needs to sort this mess out' - Jonathan Walters questions John Delaney's move into his new role at the FAI

FAI Executive Vice President John Delaney and his partner Emma English in attendance during the UEFA EURO2020 Group D qualifying match between Republic of Ireland and Georgia at the Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
FAI Executive Vice President John Delaney and his partner Emma English in attendance during the UEFA EURO2020 Group D qualifying match between Republic of Ireland and Georgia at the Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Former Ireland striker Jonathan Walters believes a new face is needed to lead the FAI as the fall-out from the scandal gripping the association and their now former CEO John Delaney rumbles on.

Delaney has been handed a new role in a shake-up that has been the talk of Irish football in recent days, with Walters joining the chorus of scepticism surrounding Delaney's appointments as the FAI'S new executive vice-president.

The controversy over the €100,000 loan Delaney gave to the FAI and reports that the organisation has been paying rent on his property have dominated the headlines in recent days, with Walters unconvinced the change of role for the dominant figure at the top of Irish soccer has solved the problem.

"For whatever reason, he has gone into a new role," said Walters, who announced his retirement from the game last Friday.

"Someone new needs to come in and sort the mess out.

"As a player, you are shielded from it and don't get to see that side of it, but at this stage of a campaign, you don't want the spotlight to be on anything other than football. It's a new campaign, a new manager coming in and it's a bit of an unwanted distraction."

Speaking to Sky Sports, former Ireland defender Phil Babb also suggested there was more to come from the Delaney affair, as he questioned whether the full story has been told.

"Something doesn't sit right," declared Babb. "An individual loaning a football association money from his own pocket sets alarm bells ringing, let's be honest.

"You would think the association could go to a bank and get a business loan if they wanted, so that doesn't sit well with me or the Irish supporters.

"His tenure of 14 years was far too long also and there have been a lot of noses pushed out of joint on this one. I don't think this story is finished by any stretch of the imagination, so we read on."

Coming Soon: Independent.ie's new GAA newsletter. Sign up here

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Jack Conan on Toulouse win, Leinster's drive for five and his rugby journey

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport