herald

Wednesday 29 January 2020

FAI gets massive Aviva debt bailout

Republic of Ireland stars, from left, Simon Cox, Darren Randolph and David Forde
Republic of Ireland stars, from left, Simon Cox, Darren Randolph and David Forde
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, right, and FAI chief executive John Delaney

FOOTBALL'S governing body UEFA is to be help the FAI meet its massive debt repayments on the Aviva Stadium.

The FAI is thought to owe around €65m as part of the deal that saw it redevelop the Lansdowne Road venue with the IRFU.

UEFA has given the FAI a substantial "advance" that reported to be worth several million euro.

Josef Kioller, UEFA's finance director said it was a "really difficult situation" facing the FAI because of the "economic crisis".

The FAI had hoped to earn a massive income from the sale of 10-year tickets when the Aviva Stadium opened, but this never materialised.

The first instalment is due to be paid by UEFA in the coming weeks and casts some doubts over the FAI's aim to be debt-free by 2020.

Meanwhile the Irish soccer squad and manager Giovanni Trapattoni were entertaining children and families still struggling with the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy in New York yesterday.

A pitch used to give local childrena training session was under five feet of water just eight months ago.

With just 1,500 of the 8,000 largely Irish American population back in their homes, local man Matt Regan, on the board of the Breezy Point co-operative, revealed the full extent of the dislocation.

"There were 2,837 house here, 111 burned down and 250 condemned. But the great thing, of course, is that nobody died."

hnews@herald.ie

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