Monday 11 November 2019

'I wonder has the bitterness become too much' - Mooney hits back at Kerr

Noel Mooney. Photo: Sportsfile
Noel Mooney. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Noel Mooney has become embroiled in a war of words with Brian Kerr after the interim FAI general manager branded the former Ireland senior boss as "bitter" towards the FAI.

Speaking on the Lansdowne Roar podcast, Mooney also said that he inherited a "s***storm" when seconded from UEFA in May and insists it's time to "move on from the John Delaney chapter".

Once again, the Limerick native - due to finish his stint in six weeks - defended his gushing remarks about Delaney and the FAI at their AGM two years ago.

He explained that he was acting as a "diplomat" for UEFA and wasn't privy to the goings-on behind the scenes.

"I'm not an auditor - not Inspector Morse nor even Coleen Rooney," said Mooney.

The State have suspended funding to the FAI while a series of investigations are ongoing into corporate governance concerns.

Although Eoin Hand has been brought back into the fold by Mooney, it seems Kerr will be remaining outside the tent.

Kerr had been ostracised under the Delaney regime since he was sacked as senior boss in October 2005. Attempts over the summer by Mooney to mend fences didn't go well.

Kerr took umbrage to a suggestion in an email he could act as a "media watchdog" for the association, after which he requested there be no more contact.

Mooney (right) has denied this and taken a swipe at Kerr.

"In my role at UEFA, I'm used to dealing with managers all around the world, top managers of Champions League clubs, and I have never seen anything like a private conversation just taken into the media," Mooney said.

"I was surprised but don't in a million years want to get into a row with Brian Kerr. I want him to be part of Irish football.

"I'm disappointed that he leaked a private conversation. What he said was nothing like what was intended.

"Did he think we were going to hire in Abbotstown to read the newspapers, watch the television and tell us when someone said something bad about us? It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

"We all would love Brian to be part of Irish football. It is his prerogative if he chooses not to help the strategy of the game. People should ask can they play a role in making football better rather than moaning and groaning about everything. That's easy. You can make a lot of money if you moan loud enough.

"Let's be honest about it, it's populist to kick the FAI. It's frustrating because they're kicking Irish football. Do they think about that? It's boring.

"I wonder has the bitterness become too much for him and he can't get out of it.

"That just happens sometimes. I've met people who can't get their head past something. For me, that's quite sad."

Irish Independent

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