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.”

Why did Republic of Ireland fans throw tennis balls onto the pitch against Georgia during Euro 2020 qualifier?

26 Mar

Republic of Ireland fans showed their displeasure at John Delaney by throwing around 30-40 tennis balls onto the pitch on Tuesday night.

During Mick McCarthy’s second homecoming at the Aviva Stadium, some fans decided to show their anger at Delaney’s appointment as FAI executive vice president.

John Delaney in attendance at the Aviva Stadium

More than a week ago, the former vice president of the Olympic Council of Ireland came under intense scrutiny after reports he had provided a €100,000 cheque to the FAI in April 2017.

The 51-year-old claimed loaned his employers the money “to aid a very short-term cash flow issue”.

Further revelations in the Sunday Times claim Delaney was receiving €3,000 a month from his employers in rent for his house.

And fans were clearly infuriated at the fact the Waterford-born official is still in a position of such high authority.

After Robbie Brady was cynically brought down past the half-hour mark, fans launched the balls onto the pitch to cause a brief delay.

However, Conor Hourihane stepped up and curled the 20-yard free-kick around the wall and into the net for his first international goal to give the hosts a deserved lead.

John Delaney moves from CEO to executive vice-president of the Football Association of Ireland

23 Mar

John Delaney is to step aside as chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland to take up the newly-created post of executive vice-president.

Delaney, who has spent the past week defending himself after newspaper reports suggested that he loaned the association £100,000 to cover a cash-flow problem in 2017, has left his current post with immediate effect.

John Delaney has left his role with the FAI

The news was confirmed in an FAI statement released on Saturday evening just minutes after Ireland’s 1-0 Euro 2020 qualifier victory in Gibraltar, at which he was present.

It said: “The Board of the Football Association of Ireland has adopted a review of its senior management structure that will see chief executive officer John Delaney move to a new position of executive vice-president with immediate effect.

“Chief operating officer Rea Walshe has been appointed to the role of Interim CEO by the Board as the recruitment process begins for a new chief executive officer.”

“Delaney’s new role will see him take responsibility for “a range of international matters and special projects on behalf of the FAI”.

Delaney applauds the Irish fans after a game with Estonia

FAI president Donal Conway said: “On behalf of the board and the members of the association, I want to thank John for everything he has done for the FAI and for Irish football. He has transformed how we operate as an association.

“This new role will allow John to utilise his vast experience and connections in the world of football and will best serve the FAI as we look to the future and our new strategic plan for Irish football which is currently a work in progress.

“John will continue to represent us at UEFA level as we look ahead to next year when the Aviva Stadium will host four games at the EURO 2020 finals thanks to his influence at European level.

“We host the UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals this summer, which will bring 9,000 bed spaces to Dublin, we celebrate the centenaries of the FAI and the SSE Airtricity League early in the new decade and the bi-centenary of the women’s game in Ireland.

“John is already leading our joint-bid with the Irish FA for the UEFA Under-21 Championships in 2023 and is working closely with the FAs in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales on the feasibility of a joint bid for the 2030 World Cup.

“John’s life has been devoted to Irish football and he will bring the same energy, vitality and inspiration to this new role. We will now begin the recruitment process for a new CEO with an expected appointment ahead of our AGM in Trim at the end of July.”

Delaney was installed as chief executive in March 2005 and his at times controversial tenure saw him preside over the redevelopment of the Aviva Stadium and its financial implications.

He said: “There have been many challenges for Irish football in my time as CEO and I will be the first to acknowledge that, but I have always given my best for Irish football and I will continue to do that in this new role.

“This past fortnight has been very difficult for me on a personal and professional level, and I would like to thank the Board and my work colleagues across the FAI for their support.

“It is time now for a new start and I am really looking forward to serving Irish football as best I can as executive vice-president.”