John Delaney offers to step aside from executive vice-president of Football Association of Ireland role pending independent investigation

15 Apr

John Delaney has offered to step down from his role as executive vice-president of the Football Association of Ireland.

Last month, Delaney had stepped aside as chief executive of the FAI to take the newly-created post.

John Delaney has offered to step down from his role

This came in the aftermath of a newspaper report that suggested he loaned the association €100,000 in 2017 to cover a cash-flow problem.

Last week, he told an Irish parliamentary committee, who are examining the FAI’s finances and governance arrangements, that he loaned the organisation the money so it would avoid exceeding its overdraft.

A Delaney Out banner at a recent Republic of Ireland match

The loan was not flagged to Sport Ireland and funding to the association has been suspended as a result.

Delaney had offered “voluntarily to step aside pending the completion of an independent investigation into issues of concern to the board”, according to an FAI statement.

Honorary secretary Michael Cody and treasurer Eddie Murray have resigned.

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The statement from the FAI read: “The Board of the Football Association of Ireland met in Dublin today. Following that meeting, the sub-committee of the Board met with Executive Vice-President John Delaney.

“John Delaney has offered to voluntarily step aside from carrying out his role as Executive Vice-President with immediate effect pending the completion of an independent investigation by the Association into issues of concern to the Board.

“Honorary Secretary Michael Cody and Honorary Treasurer Eddie Murray have both voluntarily resigned from the Board.

“The Board would like to thank Michael Cody and Eddie Murray for their long service to Irish football and wish them well after their voluntary resignations.

“The meeting of the Board also mandated the sub-committee, set up to review Governance and recently publicised financial transactions, to press ahead with their work as a matter of urgency. The FAI will update Sport Ireland on all developments ahead of the meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Sport tomorrow.

“The Board of the Association wishes to assure members, football supporters and all stakeholders and sponsors that it is expediting all processes designed to restore faith in the Football Association of Ireland.

“The Board acknowledges all concerns raised by stakeholders and supporters and is working to ensure that all Government funding is restored to Irish football at the earliest opportunity.”

Republic of Ireland charged by UEFA for tennis ball protest during Euro 2020 qualifying win over Georgia

28 Mar

The Republic of Ireland have been charged by UEFA after protesting supporters threw tennis balls on to the Aviva Stadium pitch during a Euro 2020 qualifier.

The incident happened in the 33rd minute of their victory over Georgia in Dublin on Tuesday night as fans vented their discontent at outgoing Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney.

Ireland fans staged a protest at Delaney during the match at the Aviva Stadium

Returning Ireland manager Mick McCarthy had earlier urged supporters not to risk breaking his team’s concentration by their actions after reports of the planned demonstration emerged.

And although that did not appear to happen, Ireland now face disciplinary action from the game’s European governing body.

A UEFA statement said: “Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the European Qualifiers Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Georgia (1-0), played on March 26.

“Charges against Republic of Ireland: Throwing of objects – Art. 16 (2) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.

“The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary on May 16.”

The incident happened 33 minutes into the game, an apparent reference to Delaney’s request that the Republic be admitted to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa as the 33rd team after they were denied a place by Thierry Henry’s handball in their play-off clash with France.

Dutch referee Serdar Gozubuyuk had stopped play to caution Georgia defender Guram Kashia for a foul on striker David McGoldrick when dozens of tennis balls were thrown from the stands.

Ireland defender Richard Keogh picks up some of the excess tennis balls

There was an interruption of several minutes while the objects were cleared from the playing surface and when the action resumed, Conor Hourihane curled the resulting free-kick past goalkeeper Giorgi Loria to score the decisive goal.

McCarthy was relaxed about the protest after the game with his side sitting top of the group with maximum points from their opening two fixtures, but several players admitted they had not witnessed anything like it before.

Ireland won the game 1-0 thanks to Conor Hourihane’s free-kick

Aston Villa midfielder Glenn Whelan said with a smile: “Listen, it was probably bad timing. In saying that now, Conor has gone on to score, so the next time we get a free-kick, hopefully they’ve all got their tennis balls.”

He added: “The fans are disgruntled, they have a right to protest whatever way they want. We can only worry about what happens on the pitch.”

Delaney’s 14-year reign as chief executive drew to a close on Saturday evening when, amid newspaper reports surrounding a 100,000 euros bridging loan he made to the FAI, it was announced he was to leave his existing role to take up the newly-created position of executive vice-president.

Mick McCarthy to meet with FAI this weekend about vacant Republic of Ireland manager’s job – reports

22 Nov

Mick McCarthy will meet with the FAI this weekend about the vacant Republic of Ireland manager’s position.

Ireland are currently searching for their next permanent boss after Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane left their positions earlier this week.

McCarthy was manager of Ipswich last season, before being sacked

However, it is understood McCarthy is one of several targets being considered for the role.

Sky Sports News are reporting the former Ipswich Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers boss is the ‘hot favourite’ for the role.

Former Ireland striker Tony Cascarino publicly backed McCarthy for a return to the role on talkSPORT, after rumours of his return began to circulate.

McCarthy managed his country before between 1996 and 2002, quitting after the World Cup in 2002.

McCarthy during his days as Ireland manager

However, his position became untenable after the ‘Saipan Incident’ in Japan and he lost his job shortly after the tournament.

The former centre-half was publicly criticised by Keane about the preparations of the Irish team before the finals in Japan – leading to the former Manchester United captain storming home and causing a national outcry.