Players union brands FAI performance ‘a new low for Irish football’
Organisation calls for ‘forensic examination’ of FAI’s finances and overhaul of governance
FAI president Donal Conway and executive vice-president John Delaney at the 2019 Uefa European Under-17 Championship Finals Draw at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on April 4th. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Players union the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland (PFAI) is to seek clarification from individual members of the FAI’s board as to whether they were properly briefed on issues relating to its members over the past couple of years.
The move has been prompted, the organisation says, by the news that most of the association’s directors were kept in the dark for two years with regard to the apparent loan of €100,000 by John Delaney to the FAI in April 2017 and its repayment two months later.
In its statement on the matter, the PFAI says “it is clear that the finances of the FAI need to be forensically examined and the governance of the association completely overhauled”. The union’s chairman, Gary Rogers, described the performance of the FAI delegation at the Committee for Transport, Tourism and Sport as “a new low for Irish football”, and the treatment of the League of Ireland by the national association as “embarrassing”.
The Leinster Senior League, meanwhile, has written to its member clubs asking for their views on whether the FAI needs to take a “new direction”. The move by the largest adult league in the country comes after officials at a number of other leagues and affiliates issued statements in support of John Delaney, prompting some objections from clubs.