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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: July 28, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

    FAI are some shower

    Carl O'Malley

    The FAI really has become adept at the ol’ Harakiri.  Either that or it is the unluckiest association in the world, repeatedly tossed from one PR tornado to the next before being swept away by a tsunami of crud coming around the corner.

    The latest mess takes some beating. Sure, League of Ireland players aren’t the ones who are going to draw a crowd to Lansdowne Road this weekend, but without them there is no Aviva Tournament – Dublin Super-Duper Cup,

    Until common sense prevailed last night, the players were going to net about €300 for the two games they play and the extra training they put in during the week. When they are finished those two games, they won’t be able to have a shower in the stadium and will be removed to Wanderers RFC to shower there. Why not go the whole hog and hose them down out by the Dodder?

    Showers were put in the Celtic dressing room in time for the tournament, but no such amendments were made for Damien Richardson’s men.

    The players, to their credit, took the whole changing facilities issue on the chin and were merely making a point about what they saw as financially unfair treatment. They didn’t believe they should get a suitcase full of cash for the event and a boycott was never really on the cards, but a combined pre-tax paycheck of around €14,300 was insulting.

    A Man City footballer would think twice about rescuing a kitten from a tree for €14k.

    It has since been revised up to €1,000 each but only after the FAI was embarrassed into ceding ground. The players will also get six tickets for friends and family rather than the initial allocation of two.

    The fact the association can treat its own domestic players like that just about sums up the FAI. They bleat on about exposure for the league and money for grassroots, but in reality, when it comes to their time to shine, they show their domestic players a complete lack of respect.

    But it poses a far more pertinent question, that should not only be asked of the FAI, of course. Why on earth was a €400 million stadium, partially paid for by the taxpayer and built in the 21st century, equipped with two changing rooms without showers?

    I was among one of the media tours of the stadium prior to its opening last summer. We were brought around one changing room but told there were four. I remember thinking, ‘this is swish but why can’t we see the others?’

    I know now, because two of them weren’t changing rooms at all. Evidently, they were just rooms!

    • A.Tomás says:

      Great that this was reported yesterday.

      I’m no FAI basher just for the sake of it, which many are, nor do I follow LOI piously, but felt so angry about how the LOI players were being treated. (even though they’re taking time out of their season)

      They put on a good display last year, and for many of the players this tournament may well be one of their career highlights.

      It’s actually the fact that showers weren’t installed for them but they were for Celtic which was the more infuriating!

    • Scarecrows of the Stipe says:

      All this and the salary Delaney is on………Disgracefull

    • George Dillon says:

      A Tomas, it’s a little inaccurate to say the LOI guys put up a good perfromance last year. Manchester U beat them by half-a-dozen or so. It was very disappointing. Having said that, I agree 100% with you about the disgusting performance of the FAI honchos. Damien Richardson has nothing to be proud about either in this matter.

    • bik says:

      €400,000 a year salary for John Delaney, €100,000 for the team which wins the Airtricity Premier League. Says it all really.

    • Lee Bushwacker says:

      Roy Keane was right.
      The F.A.I. are a useless shower who do nothing for Football in Ireland and just line their own pockets. Simple as!

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