herald

Sunday 17 November 2019

Delaney gave furniture firm €36k in same year as his €100k loan to FAI

John Delaney attending Ireland’s recent game against Georgia.
John Delaney attending Ireland’s recent game against Georgia.

John Delaney gave a furniture and property investment company an interest-free loan of more than €36,000 around the same time he gave the FAI a €100,000 "bridging" loan.

The Herald can today reveal details of another loan of tens of thousands of euro provided by the former football association chief executive - now its "executive vice president" - to one of his private companies.

This week, we revealed Mr Delaney had lent almost €250,000 to JMPHE, a building and property-rental company in which he owns a 25pc share, while the FAI was paying his €3,000-a-month rent.

Repayable

Records lodged with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) show that in 2017, Mr Delaney also loaned €36,328 to another company called Gerfurn. It was interest free and repayable on demand.

Mr Delaney owns 66.6pc of Gerfurn, whose principal activity is "furniture manufacturing" but whose filings show owns a number of properties "held to earn long-term rental income and for capital appreciation".

There were no staff costs or employees recorded for the furniture manufacturer in its 2017 financial year and one staff member in 2016.

Gerfurn's office is registered in The Mall, Thurles, Co Tipperary, where its accountants are based, but it previously had a business address in Athlone.

It appears Mr Delaney's loan was paid back in full. Accounts for the year ending March 2018 do not show any directors loans at the company.

Gerfurn sold one investment property in December 2017, for €127,500, though the accounts note the previous value of it was €132,000.

In 2017, Gerfurn's auditor resigned after its board of directors, which is Mr Delaney and Clodagh Kevlin, determined the company was exempt from presenting audited financial statements owing to its size.

Fans protest in Georgia. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Fans protest in Georgia. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

The FAI did not respond to a request for comment from it, or Mr Delaney, about the loan.

Gerfurn's accounts for the year to March 2015 record that while it made a loss for that year and the previous year, its "majority shareholder" confirmed he would provide financial support to the company for the foreseeable future.

Mr Delaney provided the FAI with a €100,000 bridging loan in 2017 to help the association through a cash-flow problem. The property firm JMPHE owed him €222,485 in loans for the year ending February 2018.

Last weekend, the FAI announced Mr Delaney was stepping aside as chief executive, but was taking on a new role as executive vice president.

The role, which comes with a reported salary of €120,000, will involve Mr Delaney retaining responsibilities in areas including Fifa and Uefa matters. His previous salary was €360,000 a year.

There have been calls for a complete audit of the FAI's accounts, with Fine Gael TD Noel Rock calling it "both urgent and necessary" to restore faith in the organisation.

Farce

This week, he described the decision to move Mr Delaney from chief executive to the newly created position of executive vice president as a "farce reshuffle".

The FAI has said that Mr Delaney will still appear before an Oireachtas committee to answer questions next month.

Sports Minister Shane Ross has said the loan given by Mr Delaney to the organisation has "raised serious questions about governance and financial controls in the FAI".

Mr Ross said he expects Sport Ireland to compile a report into why the FAI needed a €100,000 bridging loan.

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