John Delaney signs new €1.8million deal with FAI
FAI chief executive John Delaney has signed a bumper €1.8million deal that will keep him in charge of Irish football until 2020.
The Waterford man will earn €360,000 a year and reiterated the point that he turned down bigger offers from elsewhere to stay at the FAI.
Delaney also says he will be more cautious when mixing with Ireland fans in the future after he came under the spotlight during Euro 2012.
The FAI boss was hoisted up shoulder high by supporters in Sopot, Poland and even lost a shoe along the way.
In an interview with the Irish Sun, Delaney said: “The board of the association came to me recently and said would I commit to a longer term period. And I’m happy to do so. While I have the support of the members and the energy to do the job, I’ll stay and do the job.
“It’s a great job to have, I love the job, no question about that. But it is a 24/7 job, weekends as well.”
While Delaney admits his €360k position is a very well paid role, he is quick to point out how far the FAI has come in recent years and predicted growth for next year.
“You go back to 1996, the turnover of the FAI was about €7m, last year it was €36m, next year it will be close to €40m. We have really driven the association forward as a business.
“I’ve been offered salaries above what I’m paid. I haven’t taken them because I love what I’m doing.
“But I do accept it is a well-paid salary and I can understand certain criticisms of it because that’s the world we live in.”
Delaney has come under fire in recent times for putting himself in the public eye on away trips with the country and he admits he will be more cautious in the future.
“It happened (incident in Sopot, Poland). But it’s not defining either. Would I prefer if it didn’t happen? Of course I would.
“I have become a little bit more cautious since then. Mixing with supporters is something I want to do. But it has certainly made me a bit more careful.”
Delaney is happy he has the right men in place in Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane to guide Ireland to the Euro 2016 Championship but he also had high praise for former boss Giovanni Trapattoni.
“He was ultimately good for Ireland. He got us to a play-off which we were very unfortunate not to qualify from.
“And the next time round, we qualified for Euro 2012,” said Delaney.
“We parted amicably. We just texted each other the other day.
“I wished him all the best if he gets the Ivory Coast job. But there is nothing for certain there yet, he text back.”