FAI offers to bring Oireachtas hearing forward

FAI chief executive to face questions over €100,000 loan he provided his employer

 FAI Chief Executive John Delaney.

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney.

 

The Football Association of Ireland has offered to bring their Oireachtas committee on sport hearing forward by a week to April 3rd and confirmed that chief executive John Delaney will “lead the FAI delegation to this meeting”.

Delaney will face questions around the circumstances in which he is said to have loaned the association €100,000 in 2017 to help the FAI with what it called a short-term cash flow issue. The FAI has said it repaid the sum in full two months later.

“The Football Association of Ireland has today written to the Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport,” the FAI said on Thursday. “The Association has offered to bring the April 10th meeting with the Committee forward to April 3rd and the FAI awaits the Committee’s response.

“The Association also confirms that CEO John Delaney will lead the FAI delegation to this meeting.”

Earlier this week Sport Ireland sought an explanation for the “bridging loan” provided by Delaney to his employer and clearly suggested that if the FAI, or any governing body, required such a loan, then it was entitled to be informed under the terms of the grants its pays out to governing bodies.

News of the transaction emerged at the weekend when The Sunday Times published details of a cheque for €100,000 given by Delaney to FAI. The association’s chief executive failed in an attempt on Saturday night to obtain an injunction preventing publication of the story.

Subsequently, the FAI issued a number of statements which took the line that the money had been a loan to tide it over a difficult time and that it had been repaid two months later. Though he is quoted in the statements, Delaney has not answered questions about the matter from anyone outside the organisation directly.