| 16.1°C Dublin

Sport Ireland state FAI will be unable to access Covid sport fund without ratifying MoU rule changes

Close

Chair of Sport Ireland Kieran Mulvey with the organisation’s chief executive John Treacy. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Chair of Sport Ireland Kieran Mulvey with the organisation’s chief executive John Treacy. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Chair of Sport Ireland Kieran Mulvey with the organisation’s chief executive John Treacy. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Sport Ireland have confirmed that the FAI will not be able to apply for their share of the €70m Covid-19 relief fund until they implement the rule changes laid out in January's rescue deal.

The comments from Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy follows on from yesterday's Dáil statement from Green Party leader Eamon Ryan calling on the FAI to hold an EGM and vote on terms agreed in the deal that would restore state funding.

FAI Board and Council members have called for a rethink on the memorandum of understanding (MoU) which sees the number of independent directors on the troubled football body's board rise from four to six and also stipulates that Council members with ten years service stand down immediately.

They were hopeful that a new government would favour a review of those conditions on the basis that outgoing Minister for Sport Shane Ross had taken a strong stance on those clauses.

But senior civil servants were always of the opinion that the terms were necessary and that view is shared by Sport Ireland and the new powerbrokers in Leinster House who are supportive of the FAI's independent chair Roy Barrett.

75 percent of members would need to give approval at an EGM and in a statement released following a Sport Ireland board meeting, Treacy confirmed that the statutory agency would be withholding funding until the FAI voted through the reforms.

Treacy said: "Sport Ireland has not paid out any of the €5.8m grant funding to the FAI in 2020 to date.

"Furthermore, no funding is scheduled to be paid in advance of the FAI's EGM. To avail of the funding support, the FAI is aware of the need to make the essential amendments to its rules and constitution in line with its commitments in the MOU. These changes are also required as a pre-requisite to the FAI applying to Sport Ireland for any portion of the additional €70 million of new Government funding to support the sports sector through the Covid-19 crisis."

Sport Ireland chair Kieran Mulvey referenced that the FAI were 'weeks away from insolvency' before the January arrangement.

The Halfway Line Newsletter

Get the lowdown on the Irish football scene with our soccer correspondent Daniel McDonnell and expert team of writers with our free weekly newsletter.

This field is required

"The future of Irish football was secured when the Government, UEFA and Bank of Ireland agreed a vital funding arrangement to save the FAI," said Mulvey.

"This multi-stakeholder recovery plan hinges on the FAI delivering absolutely essential governance reforms in the coming weeks. The progress made by the FAI in recent months is welcome and must be safeguarded and built on. There can be no return to the well-publicised financial and governance crisis."

Sport Ireland's statement said that their board had 'considered the recent joint letter from the new Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport & the Gaeltacht (Deputy Catherine Martin TD) and the then new Minister of State with Responsibility for the Gaeltacht & Sport (Deputy Dara Calleary TD) to the FAI Chairperson (Mr. Roy Barrett).'

It goes on to state they welcomed the 'clear and unambiguous confirmation that the new Government has no intention of entering into any discussions with the FAI or other stakeholders' on the terms of the memorandum.


Most Watched





Privacy