Wednesday 16 October 2019

The endgame: Timeline of John Delaney's fall as FAI boss


Changing times: Attending a meeting with the Oireachtas Committee on Sport at Dáil Éireann back in April were, from left, then FAI interim chief executive Rea Walshe, FAI director of public relations and communications Cathal Dervan, FAI president Donal Conway, then FAI board member and honorary treasurer Eddie Murray, then FAI executive vice-president John Delaney and FAI director of competitions Fran Gavin. Below, the then Ireland manager Brian Kerr chats with Delaney in 2003 – Kerr went on to become one of Delaney’s chief critics. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Changing times: Attending a meeting with the Oireachtas Committee on Sport at Dáil Éireann back in April were, from left, then FAI interim chief executive Rea Walshe, FAI director of public relations and communications Cathal Dervan, FAI president Donal Conway, then FAI board member and honorary treasurer Eddie Murray, then FAI executive vice-president John Delaney and FAI director of competitions Fran Gavin. Below, the then Ireland manager Brian Kerr chats with Delaney in 2003 – Kerr went on to become one of Delaney’s chief critics. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Darren Randolph clears away tennis balls used as a form of protest by fans. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

March 17, 2019

The FAI confirm a 'Sunday Times' report that John Delaney had given the organisation a €100,000 bridging loan in April 2017 with statements saying he acted in the best interests of the association "at a time when immediate funding was needed" and indicating that the FAI board were briefed on developments.

March 19

Sport Ireland say they have written to the president of the FAI Donal Conway seeking "urgent clarification" from the board of the FAI on the media reports.

March 23

After a day of speculation, the FAI wait until minutes after the conclusion of the Euro 2020 qualifier in Gibraltar to announce that Delaney has moved to a newly-created position of executive vice-president.

March 26

There is a tennis ball protest by unhappy supporters that disrupts the game with Georgia at the Aviva Stadium amid calls for Delaney to go. Further details have emerged about Delaney's working terms and conditions which have added to the scrutiny on the FAI.

April 3

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John Treacy. Photo: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Sport Ireland appear in the Dáil to state that the FAI had not sufficiently explained the circumstances around the €100,000 loan. Their chief executive John Treacy refuses to give a vote of confidence to the board of the FAI.

April 4

Delaney is the leading official present at the draw for the European U-17 finals at the Aviva Stadium, giving the keynote speech on behalf of UEFA while referencing his pride at the competition coming to these shores.

April 9

Sport Ireland announce that funding to the FAI has been suspended.

April 10

The FAI appear at Government Buildings, with Delaney refusing to take questions on financial matters due to his own legal advice. He gives an opening statement but, to the surprise of many of the politicians in attendance, he says he is unable to expand on it. FAI president Donal Conway says that he was not aware of the €100k bridging loan in 2017.

April 15

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Eddie Murray. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

After a weekend of discussions, Delaney says that he will 'voluntarily step aside' from the post of executive vice-president pending the outcome of a series of reviews into FAI affairs - a list that grows in subsequent months. Honorary treasurer Eddie Murray and honorary secretary Michael Cody resign.

April 16

Auditors Deloitte state that the FAI did not keep "proper accounting records", thus adding another layer to the FAI probe. Minister Shane Ross says that the FAI board have told him they will step down at the AGM in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, Co Meath.

May 2

UEFA confirm that Executive Committee member and Youth Committee chair Delaney will not be attending the European U-17 finals on his own doorstep.

July 27

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FAI President Donal Conway. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

FAI president Donal Conway is retained for another year by delegates at the AGM after they pass governance review group reform proposals that change board structures. The FAI refuse to take any questions on Delaney due to legal reasons.

August 18

UEFA confirm that Delaney will not be invited to UEFA committee meetings or executive committee meetings while the investigations in Ireland are ongoing.

UEFA are providing financial support to Ireland so the FAI can meet their obligations.

September 28

The FAI announce that Delaney has resigned his post in a short statement stating that he has resigned "with immediate effect".

In the missive, the FAI adds that they will "fulfil certain notice and pension obligations as agreed between the parties".

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