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Sunday 17 November 2019

'FAI chief getting Rolls-Royce salary must go' - TD Rock

FAI boss John Delaney faces questions over a €100,000 loan
FAI boss John Delaney faces questions over a €100,000 loan

FAI boss John Delaney should step down, a government TD has said.

Fine Gael's Noel Rock said Mr Delaney's performance as the head of Irish football was not living up to his "Rolls-Royce salary" and he should resign from the €360,000-a-year position.

It comes as the FAI faces questions over a €100,000 bridging loan given by Mr Delaney to the association in April 2017. The FAI has said it was repaid in full two months later.

Mr Delaney is set to be quizzed on the matter by TDs and senators when he appears before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Sport as early as April 3.

Mr Rock said the issue of the loan was "overshadowing" the on-field performance of the Ireland team.

Competence

"I think it's time for John Delaney to step aside," he said.

"We pay a Rolls Royce salary, €360,000 a year, for John Delaney. Do we get a Rolls-Royce performance out of that? I'm not sure."

Mr Rock said there were "clear issues of governance, of competence and of finance" within the FAI after reports emerged about Mr Delaney's loan.

The FAI declined to comment last night.

Oireachtas Joint Committee on Sport chairman Fergus O'Dowd said there was "no point" in TDs and senators quizzing Mr Delaney until a review of the organisation's executive governance was completed.

The committee is scheduled to meet the FAI on April 10.

However, the FAI wrote to the committee noting that some of its members had speculated about the possibility of bringing the meeting forward.

The FAI suggested April 3 as a date that representatives would be "happy" to attend.

Mr O'Dowd, said the committee would decide next week when the meeting with Mr Delaney would ultimately be held.

He said he had asked the committee's clerk to contact the FAI to ask if the organisation's review of governance would be finished in time for Mr Delaney's appearance.

Earlier this week, the FAI said it had been carrying out a full review of its executive governance and senior management structures.

"This review will be completed and all actions approved by early April when a full press conference will be held to reveal all outcomes," it said in a statement.

"In the meantime, the association reiterates that the bridging loan was made in the best interests of the FAI in 2017 when it experienced a short-term cash flow issue."

The FAI board was "kept fully informed" about the matter "at all times", the statement said.

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