It would be a "welcome" gesture if Mick McCarthy, the manager of the Irish senior men's soccer team, took a cut in his €1.2 million salary in light of the difficulties facing the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), Minister for Sport Shane Ross has said.
Mr Ross, in an interview with The Irish Times, said McCarthy’s salary was an “awful lot of money” but the Minister stopped short of calling on him to take a reduction.
“Anybody who takes a pay cut in support of those who are less well-off than themselves you know, is to be applauded, and I assumed that he would get paid more somewhere else or be in demand somewhere else, and it would be difficult for him to do that,” Mr Ross said.
“I’m not calling on him to do it or not,” he said, but added that those on high salaries taking a reduction in an organisation in difficulty was “always going to be welcome”.
Separately, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the FAI would not be provided with "a blank cheque to pay for the mistakes of the past", although he said the Government would play a role if the association faced collapse.
"We're going to try work out with them a plan that allows us to protect soccer and protect football in Ireland, " Mr Varadkar said. "But we don't want to be in a situation where we are somehow asking the taxpayer to bail out the FAI and take on their debts and liabilities and maybe their pensions too. We're not going to do that."
Both Mr Varadkar and Mr Ross made their comments before Sunday's reconvened FAI annual general meeting, where the FAI's executive lead Paul Cooke said there was a possibility the association could go into examinership or liquidation.
Mr Ross also said he may have been too “alarmist” in some of his warnings over the future of the League of Ireland and said he did not think the FAI would become insolvent. “It’s unthinkable,” he said.
In a follow-up statement on Sunday evening, Mr Ross said “the Government does not see either liquidation or examinership as a viable option” for the FAI.