Sport Soccer

Sunday 13 October 2019

Three Ireland and New Balance expect FAI to 'implement recommendations on financial and corporate governance matters'

Three Ireland and New Balance expect FAI to 'implement recommendations on financial and corporate governance matters'
Three Ireland and New Balance expect FAI to 'implement recommendations on financial and corporate governance matters'
The Republic of Ireland's official kit provider, Toplion Sportswear and JACC Sports, has called on the FAI to implement all recommendations on financial and corporate governance matters.
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

The Republic of Ireland's primary sponsor, Three Ireland, expect the FAI to implement all recommendations from their investigations into financial and corporate governance issues.

There have been widespread calls for the FAI Board and John Delaney to step down following their appearance in front of an Oireachtas Committee yesterday.

Delaney said he could not answer any questions in relation to a €100k "bridging loan" he gave the Association in 2017 because of legal advice he had received. It was left to FAI President Donal Conway to address most of the questions from the Committee over a seven-hour session at Leinster House.

Many questions directed at the FAI delegation went unanswered, with Sinn Fein TD Imelda Munster branding them "an absolute disgrace, a farce".

The FAI have commissioned two investigations - by Mazars and Grant Thornton - into the €100k payment and corporate governance issues and Three Ireland, who have been the primary sponsor of the FAI since 2010 and in November 2015 signed a new deal up until 2020 that is worth €8.9million, said they expect all recommendations to be implemented. 

"As primary sponsor of the Irish national football team and all international squads, our focus is on promoting the game of football for fans and our customers right across the country," a Three spokesperson told Independent.ie.

"Corporate governance is of upmost importance at Three and we expect the same from all partners we work with. We note that the FAI has commissioned two reports to review recent matters and we expect all recommendations to be implemented."

Meanwhile, Ireland's official kit provider, Toplion Sportswear and JACC Sports, has called on the FAI to implement all recommendations on financial and corporate governance matters.

The sportswear company have provided Umbro and, more recently, New Balance kits to the Irish soccer team since 1994 and their current deal expires in 2020.

"We note with interest that the FAI has commissioned various reports to review recent financial and corporate governance matters and we urge the FAI to implement all recommendations as soon as possible," read a statement.

Sligo Rovers supporters clubs have released a statement calling for the FAI board and executive Vice President, John Delaney, to step down.

The statement, issued on behalf of three separate groupings, criticises the Football Association's appearance at yesterday's Oireachtas Committee hearing when John Delaney said he would not answer any questions about the €100k 'bridging loan' he gave to the FAI in April 2017.

"We watched yesterday's FAI performance in the Oireachtas that showed contempt for the game and the volunteers that maintain our league.

"This was one insult to those that want a transparent and fairly run governing body.

"We call on the board of the FAI and the executive Vice President John Delaney to resign for a new start for Irish football."

The statement encourages fans to "join in a chant in the 33rd minute" in their match against Dundalk tomorrow night.

Sligo's move comes after a significant comment from the Confederation of Republic of Ireland Soccer Supports Clubs, who are the official fans grouping with ties to the FAI.

"CRISC are concerned at the lack of purposeful engagement by the FAI at today's Oireachtas Committee Meeting," read a Twitter post.

"It is imperative that confidence is restored in  governance of the FAI and any funding that has been cut is reinstated. Today fell short in achieving both of those goals."

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