Sunday 22 September 2019

Uefa confirms Delaney sidelined as FAI draws down advance funding

Mr Delaney is a member of Uefa’s powerful executive committee, a position that is worth €160,000 per year. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Mr Delaney is a member of Uefa’s powerful executive committee, a position that is worth €160,000 per year. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

John Delaney will not be invited to any Uefa committee meetings until investigations into the FAI are completed, the European football body confirmed.

Mr Delaney is a member of Uefa's powerful executive committee, a position that is worth €160,000 per year.

However, he has not attended meetings of the body since he voluntarily stepped aside from his position with the FAI to allow a series of reviews into the association's affairs to be completed.

Uefa had been tight-lipped on his position but it has now formally confirmed that Mr Delaney is effectively sidelined from carrying out his role until the picture in Ireland becomes clear.

Mr Delaney had moved from the position of CEO to a new role of executive vice president in a period of turmoil that followed the emergence of his €100,000 bridging loan to his employer in 2017.

He has been absent from Abbotstown since April, pending the outcome of enquiries.

Professional services firm Mazars is carrying out a review of the FAI finances and Sport Ireland has appointed Northern Irish company KOSI to carry out an audit.

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) is also examining matters of concern. Updates on Mazars and KOSI are expected in September, but the ODCE process will take much longer.

A Uefa spokesperson said it was "fully accurate" to say that Mr Delaney will not be invited to forthcoming business. The executive committee's next summit is scheduled for Slovenia next month.

"We are waiting for the results of the investigation. In the meantime, Mr Delaney is not invited to Uefa committee meetings nor to executive committee meetings," said a Uefa statement. The Uefa finance team is well briefed on matters in the FAI as it has been drafted in to offer urgent support to the cash-strapped body.

FAI president Donal Conway said after last month's AGM that important meetings scheduled for August 13 and August 14 would clarify the deal with Uefa.

The FAI has refused to comment on those discussions, but Uefa said that the advance drawdown of funds has been agreed. Its official line is: "Uefa has accelerated certain payments due this calendar year to assist the FAI as it addresses its financial issues."

Mr Conway admitted that the FAI could need somewhere in the region of €20m inside a calendar year in order to steady the ship.

The FAI is working on a new financial plan to deal with challenging circumstances, with staff fearing that redundancies will be required.

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