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Barrett admits past failings continue to blight FAI's image

 

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Roy Barrett. Photo: Sportsfile

Roy Barrett. Photo: Sportsfile

Roy Barrett. Photo: Sportsfile

At the tail end of Christmas, Roy Barrett admitted the Football Association of Ireland will be hampered by the ghosts of the past for years to come.

The challenges facing the first chairman of the association and his new board have continued to mount in 2020, evidenced by their soaring debts and lack of sponsors.

Although the Goodbody Stockbrokers MD expressed confidence of the malaise being arrested, he confessed that the fallout from the previous regime will endure. Members attending yesterday's virtual annual general meeting learned that ongoing legal and tax bills continue to pressurise the FAI's cash flow.

While the Sports Ireland-commissioned KOSI report was finalised earlier this year, it was referred to the An Garda Síochána. An investigation by State watchdog Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) into former chief executive John Delaney will prolong into 2021.

"I think the reputational damage to the association has been hugely significant and is not going to change," said Barrett. "From a board perspective, we cannot change the past. As far as the board is concerned, what happens with the ODCE and elsewhere is a parallel process.

"If there are a series of outcomes from that that we need to deal with then we will deal with them at that time. But there is nothing that I or anybody else can do to influence that, so, to be frank, I don't spend much time thinking about it."

Barrett ruled out any staff redundancies during 2021.

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