May 29, 2023
News Sport

FAI CRISIS: Association now €55m in debt; Delaney received €462,000 payoff

The Football Association of Ireland are more than €55 million in debt, according to their 2018 accounts which were published today.

The perilous financial state of the Irish football’s governing body means they have to remortage the debt on their largest asset, the Aviva Stadium, until 2034.

Presenting the 2018 FAI accounts at their headquarters in Abbottstown, newly installed chief executive and Waterford native Paul Cooke revealed former supremo John Delaney received a severance settlement of €462,000, including pension payments.

The association also paid out €1,903,277 to Martin O’Neill, Roy Keane and other member of the coaching staff under the former manager when their contracts were terminated in 2018.

The financial plight is just the latest chapter in what has been a chaotic week at the FAI.

It all started when former Waterford Crystal CEO John Foley decided at the last minute not to take up the position of CEO. This then opened the door for Paul Cooke to take the reins despite protests from Sports Minister Shane Ross.

While this drama was unfolding, the FAI’s primary sponsor Three Ireland announced they will not be renewing their contract with the FAI when it runs down next July, bringing an end to a relationship which has netted Irish soccer €30 million over the past decade.

Earlier today, FAI President Donal Conway announced he will step down from his role in January, but not before declaring the association’s financial model was not fit for purpose.

The final words of a tumultuous week were left to Paul Cooke who, at a press conference held in the wake of the publication of the accounts, told the media the FAI are in the process of re-financing the organisation, but could not go into further detail.


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