Wednesday 23 October 2019

'Sad' Delaney retains support after FAI exit


Former FAI CEO John Delaney. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Former FAI CEO John Delaney. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Mícheál Ó Scannáil and Daniel McDonnell

John Delaney is relieved that his future with the FAI has been resolved but is sad to be finished with football, according to his friend, the veteran Kerry administrator John O'Regan.

The long-serving Kerry District League official O'Regan detailed weekend discussions with Delaney in a piece with today's Irish Independent where he mounted another defence of the ex-CEO's tenure.

Delaney's resignation was announced last Saturday after negotiations around his future with a severance package agreed following talks.

It is understood that FAI sponsors and UEFA were keen for Delaney's position to be resolved as part of the response to a turbulent six months for the association.

"I was talking to him on the phone on Sunday. He's relieved to be honest about it, that it's all over. He's a bit sad that he has to leave the game," said O'Regan.

"He is affected by everything, which is sad. What a lot of people forget about is that he has two teenage children that nobody thinks about and his parents are old. They have to see it all.

"Not all of us does everything right - we all make mistakes - but the way I look at everything is, if you do more good than you do wrong, you haven't done too badly.

"He's just trying to leave the dust settle now, it was a hard time for him over the last couple of months. He's sad but a bit relieved that it's all over."

Today's piece includes contributions from a number of football officials who sent out supportive statements on behalf of Delaney in March and April when his position at Abbotstown suddenly came under threat.

O'Regan's opinion on the 52-year-old remains the same. "He's done a fantastic job here in Kerry. John Delaney was in the job for 14 or 15 years. He did mighty work for many, many years," he said.

"I'm listening to people in the grassroots in Kerry and Limerick and all over. In youth soccer and junior soccer and schoolboy soccer. They have no problem with John Delaney.

"He's done an awful lot for that side of the game. The people I have seen whingeing and moaning are the crowd in the League of Ireland. I can't see what was done wrong to be honest."

Irish Independent

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