Wednesday 11 December 2019

The questions that still need to be answered in FAI reports as Council member suggests little has changed


Ready to launch: Sport Ireland chairperson Kieran Mulvey, FAI president Donal Conway, Governance Review Group chairperson Aidan Horan and FAI communications director Cathal Dervan at the launch of Governance Review Group. Photo: Sportsfile
Ready to launch: Sport Ireland chairperson Kieran Mulvey, FAI president Donal Conway, Governance Review Group chairperson Aidan Horan and FAI communications director Cathal Dervan at the launch of Governance Review Group. Photo: Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

It's not just the failure to secure automatic qualification for Euro 2020 which has injected a dose of frustration into the Irish game.

The Republic of Ireland will be represented at tomorrow's draw in Bucharest for the finals overall - a tournament for which Mick McCarthy's team may well be absent. It's like a music fan going to a sound check for a gig he might not be allowed attend.

But frustration has seeped out in the last few days since it emerged that the first of the (many) reports into the FAI's affairs will not be made public, nor will it even be provided to the Oireachtas members who commissioned it, from consultants KOSI.

Also last night came confirmation from Shane Ross, the minister responsible, that "on foot of the findings of the KOSI report the Government will not be in a position to reinstate State funding to the FAI in the near future".

While it was known that the investigation by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) could take two years, there was genuine hope that three of the FAI-related reports (KOSI, Mazars and Grant Thornton) would be published by now but they, like the set of accounts which were not presented at July's AGM, remain closed to public view.

Stuart Gilhooly, a solicitor for the Players Football Association of Ireland (PFAI) union and is now a member of the new-look FAI council, voiced his frustration.

"I have been a member of the FAI council for five months, I have had one meeting in that period and I am none the wiser about what went on in the FAI than I was at the start," he told RTÉ radio.

"I don't know when there's going to be an AGM, I don't know when we are going to see the accounts, it was supposed to be the end of this month and the month is nearly over.

So what is the state of play with the reports?

KOSI

What is it?

Report by Northern Ireland-based firm, commissioned by Sport Ireland into the FAI's financial affairs.

When did they start work?

May 10 (203 days ago)

When was the report due?

Ages ago. "Timeline for Delivery: July 2019 - September 2019" was the wording in the initial brief.

Where are things now?

Shane Ross, Minister for Sport, received the final KOSI report on Tuesday but he has referred the report to An Garda Síochána.

When will it be published?

We don't know.

Mazars

What is it?

Company commissioned by the FAI "to conduct an independent and in-depth external review of all matters".

When did they start work?

March 30 (243 days ago).

When was the report due?

The FAI statement at the time said "as soon as possible".

Where are things now?

In October, the FAI said: "Mazars have indicated that their initial report will be available towards the end of November".

When will it be published?

We don't know.

Grant Thornton

What is it?

Another report commissioned by the FAI "to conduct an internal review of the Association's books, records and ledgers".

When did they start work?

April 2 (241 days ago).

When was the report due?

No time frame was given but FAI sources were saying in June it would be ready "within three weeks".

Where are things now?

We don't know.

When will it be published?

We don't know.

ODCE

What is it?

The State's corporate watchdog said they were looking into "certain matters" regarding the FAI.

When did they start work?

The FAI confirmed on March 20 that they had written to the ODCE.

When was a report/findings due?

No time frame was ever given for the ODCE probe, a two-year process was mentioned at the outset.

Where are things now?

ODCE officials have interviewed current and former FAI officials.

When will it be published?

We don't know.

Oireachtas committee

Where are things now?

The FAI stated last month that they would go before the committee "when various reports currently being undertaken are complete".

When will that happen?

We don't know.

FAI Independent Directors

Where are things now?

The appointment of the four independent directors is now on hold, largely due to the delay in publication of the KOSI report. "Independent directors should come in on the back of that (KOSI)," Noel Mooney said on Wednesday.

When will they be appointed?

Stop us if you've heard this one before.

We don't know.

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