Delaney reacts to socialising criticism
FAI CHIEF executive John Delaney has defended his behaviour while at the European Championships in Poland, insisting he takes “grave offence” at the criticism he has received.
Many have taken a dim view of Delaney’s socialising in Sopot, where the Irish team was based. But the former treasurer of the association, who is on a salary of about €400,000, has said he is “entitled” to a night out.
Delaney was adamant yesterday that his duties did not suffer while he was away with the team and that he delivered on his brief at the tournament.
“Every morning we had a meeting at 9am when we were away in Montecatini , in Hungary and in Poland,” he said. “We did our stuff really well. I met with Robbie Keane and Trapattoni every three or four days and we went through all the issues.
“We worked very, very hard. And if I had a night out, with family, my sister was over there, my brother-in-law and some friends, I think that is something I’m entitled to do when I’m there.
“What happened one evening on the way home to the hotel was a couple of hundred fans raised me up on their shoulders and they carried me head-high home. Now, if that’s a crime, I’m not guilty. Trust me.”
Delaney says he will take a wage cut if needs be, but stopped short of saying he would volunteer one.
“I know I’m paid well; I accept that. I work very hard for that. Most people would accept that, it’s 24/7. I signed a contract that was put in front of me. I took a reduction in the past; if I had to do it again, I’d do it in the future.
When pressed on whether he would volunteer one, he replied: “If I have to take a wage cut in the future, I’ll take it, simple as that.”
While Delaney was happy with his administrative contribution to the tournament, he said mistakes were made by the team management and that Trapattoni is aware of them and will learn from them.
Ireland not only lost their three group games, but conceded nine goals with only one in reply.
“I think he accepts mistakes were made,” added Delaney in a Sunday newspaper. “He accepts that. We will sit down and review all aspects of the tournament, including the football side. Like any good manager, and he’s proved that over a long period of time, he’ll learn from the Euros.”
When asked if there was any possibility the manager might not be there when the World Cup Cup qualifiers begin in September, Delaney replied: “Absolutely not. Last November when we qualified, the board were unanimous in terms of reappointing him. The mood of the public was certainly that way as well.
“I think he hasn’t become a bad manager because of the Euros, he’s been a good manager and proved that all the way through his career.
“His objective now will be to get the Irish team to the World Cup in Brazil.”