'The right thing to do would be to resign' - John Giles calls for John Delaney to leave FAI
John Giles has stated that he believes John Delaney should resign from the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).as he addressed concerns raised about the John Giles Foundation last weekend.
"I think that there is such an amount of criticism now, and things have got to such a stage where the right thing to do would be to resign," he said, speaking on Thursday’s Off The Ball.
"I think it has got to the stage where there is a lack of confidence in the whole situation, and the board are resigning en bloc, and it would be very difficult for John to stay on."
A number of questions were raised in this week’s Sunday Independent relating to a detailed protected disclosure sent to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement outlining a number of new concerns about governance at the FAI. The disclosure included questions surrounding how funds linked to the John Giles Foundation are operated.
In relation to that issue, Giles said he wasn't aware exactly what the issue was but was saddened by the developments. He also stated that Grant Thornton, one of the firms currently undertaking an investigation into the FAI finances, audited the foundation two years ago and gave it a "clean bill of health."
"I don’t know what the accusation is. The legal people in the FAI are about to find out what it is. I’d like to know myself exactly what it is," he explained.
"I’d be confident that the money that came into the trust went out in grants to the teams around the county that applied for them. I’d be very disappointed and surprised if that didn’t occur.
"I feel a little bit sad that I’m in a position where I have to justify myself. I’m not worried about it because I know I haven’t done anything wrong. I know that I haven’t taken any money from the foundation.
"I believe in the foundation and I hope I’ll continue to work in it. I think the foundation over the last nine or 10 years has raised a lot of money."
Asked about John Delaney's involvement, Giles confirmed that he was a trustee and that as the foundation is a trust rather than a charity, different accounting rules apply.
"John (Delaney) was a trustee as I’m a trustee. I think John was a trustee mainly because he was Chief Executive. Now that he’s not, I hope that whoever becomes the next CEO would just step into that role," he added.
"We raise a fair amount but the bulk came from UEFA funds. John being at the table helped that. Obviously, we want the funds to continue. There’s been things in the paper recently that mention the foundation in a certain way.
"It is not a charity, it is a trust and therefore does not have the same requirement to produce books every year. There’s no books missing, they never had to be in. It’s not part of the FAI but they help run it because I can’t run it on my own.
"I’m a front-man. I wouldn’t be capable of running the foundation. My job is as a name that’s known more than anyone else. I go round the country and do dinners and raise as much money as I can.
"I enjoy doing that, I’ll do it as long as I can because it’s good for the game and it’s good for the kids. I’ll be very disappointed if I wasn’t (involved in the future). I’m getting on a bit but hope it lasts another nine years.”
With fellow ex-international Niall Quinn being suggested in some quarters as a replacement, Giles said that the FAI should consider looking outside of the sport to ensure that the right person gets the job.
"We should find out what is required from the CEO and then go and get whoever fits the requirements. It doesn't have to be Niall Quinn, it doesn't have to be a football man. It has to be somebody that can do the job. That’s the most important thing.
"This is a business situation, it’s not a football situation. Somebody that can come in and do the job like they do in big companies.
"Let them come in and say this is what I need to run this particular organisation. It’s football but it still needs a business mind to do it."