FAI accounts confirm €5.1m losses in 2019

Association puts current net liabilities at €69.75m, 2019 losses down from year before

The FAI lost just over €5 million in 2019 as its income was hit by substantial drops in grant, commercial and match related income over the course of what was a traumatic year for the association.

The overall loss of €5.1 million was down from €7.7 million for the previous year but turnover fell by almost €4 million and there are again restatements of previously published figures.

With net current liabilities put at €69.75 million, new auditors Grant Thornton conclude there remains “material uncertainty which may cast serious doubt on the Association’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

The association, which reveals it was paying up to four per cent interest in 2019 on some €8.5 million it owed to Uefa, saw its core, stadium related bank debt increase very slightly to €28.3 million but other loans almost doubled to €8.9 million while the figure owed to suppliers went from €7.9 million to €11.6 million. Deferred income, relating to taking up front of money but intended to be spread out over multiple years, rose from €11.6 million to €16.1 million.

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The figures add the detail to the argument made publically by Gary Owens and Niall Quinn that the organisation would have gone under had it not secured additional backing from the Government and new loan facilities from the Bank of Ireland with a €24 million facility executed in March, it is confirmed. The association has also recently borrowed nearly €5 million from Fifa.

Also confirmed is the settlement of €462,000 reached with former chief executive John Delaney to facilitate his departure from the association. The directors made the case at the time that the deal was necessary to avoid far greater potential liabilities and €1.7 million is credited to the wages total here in an accounting procedure intended to recognise the saving made.

With match related income falling from €12.2 million to €8.1 million and commercial income dropping from €18 million to €15.7 million, current board chairman Roy Barrett expresses the hope that 2019 will represent a turning point of the association although clearly the impact of Covid-19 has impacted hugely on 2020 income and much uncertainty remains with regard to sponsors.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Industry and Employment Correspondent at The Irish Times