Friday 24 May 2019

Michael O'Doherty: John Delaney has played a blinder - and it's time that everyone woke up to that

FAI chief Executive John Delaney and his girlfriend Emma English with Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D.
FAI chief Executive John Delaney and his girlfriend Emma English with Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D.
Roy Keane
Shane Lynch
Emma Waldron

Well done, John Delaney.

Because not only should he ignore the carping from all sides concerning the €5m he accepted from Fifa following Ireland's controversial loss in a play-off for the 2010 World Cup, but he should allow himself a chuckle at many of those who are criticising him, untouched by the blinding hypocrisy of their comments.

Let's start with Roy Keane. When asked whether Delaney's revelation was a distraction from yesterday's international with England, he responded "Isn't he always?"

This, coming from the man whose unspectacular tenure as Irish assistant manager has been dogged with distractions about alleged road rage incidents, altercations in hotels, or score-settling in the latest instalment of his autobiography.

Let's move on to saintly Giovanni Trapattoni, who made a point about snubbing Fifa president Sepp Blatter. He revealed that "when he gave me his hand, I did not give mine because I do not have two faces". This is the same Trapattoni who - because he possesses such a innocent, unspoilt love for the beautiful game - demanded €1.5m a year to manage Ireland during a somewhat less than successful tenure.

Most laughable of all, perhaps, is the pious hogwash coming from Dail Eireann, where elected members with a keen nose for a bandwagon, have been jumping on board to criticise Delaney.

One should firstly point out that it's a bit rich to be receiving lectures from TDs about financial accountability, rolling around as they are in millions of euro worth of unvouched expenses, mileage and accommodation allowances each year.

For a government which went cap in hand to the IMF to borrow billions in order to compensate for their own ineptitude, the idea that they can judge the FAI for accepting a fraction of that in their time of need smacks of an appalling double standard.

Which brings us to the general, prevalent mood of disgruntlement among the nation. To this one can only reply with the following - what exactly was the alternative?

Roy Keane

Roy Keane

Delaney must have known that any legal threat carried a huge element of bluffing. While it may have been a good PR exercise to take Fifa to court, there is no precedent for a game such as this being replayed due to a refereeing mistake - and the overwhelming odds are that we would have lost.

When the legal bill for this failed attempt landed on the already cash-strapped FAI, would there not have been a public outcry about how public money was wasted on such a futile exercise?

Unpalatable as it may seem, €5m in cold hard cash was an extraordinary coup. In one fell swoop, Delaney made up for much of the shortfall in corporate ticket sales for the Aviva, and did so without being in any way beholden to Fifa.

When all the posturing and righteous indignation has died down, people will see that John Delaney actually managed to deliver what our actual team has conspicuously failed to achieve in recent times.

A result.


Shane's attempts to turn his music into money strikes a bum note

Shane Lynch

You can say one thing about the musical Lynch family - featuring Boyzone member Shane, and B*Witched singers Edel and Keavy - which is that they don't sell themselves short.

Because while most bands are content to charge about €50 for the privilege of watching the group perform, the three Lynchs have put a considerably higher price on more intimate performances.

News has just landed that Shane - still defying the odds by milking a career out of Boyzone a full 22 years after they were formed - is attempting to raise funds to launch his debut solo album. In so doing, he has obviously had a chin wag with his sisters, who followed the exact same path when B*Witched reformed 18 months ago by joining a website called PledgeMusic, whereby fans contribute directly to the cost of the music project. In return they get personalised collectors items, including the chance to hang out with their heroes.

At the time, Edel and Keavy were charging €18,000 for their band to perform a private gig - with four members in the band, this worked out at €4,500 per Lynch. Shane has put a higher price on his own talents, however. He is seeking €9,600 to turn up, sashay and warble for you and your friends. As a teaser of what delights awaits them, he has uploaded a 30-second clip of one of his tracks, a hip-hop tune placed over a backing track of Spandau Ballet's True. On it he performs the linguistically gymnastic trick of rhyming Dublin with bubblin' and troublin' ...

Shane has revealed that he is only a quarter of the way to securing the funds he requires, with less than four weeks to D-day. All of which suggests that the album is going to go the way of his previous much-publicised attempt to become a motorsport driver.

It's going to crash and burn.


Exiles has left the truth far behind

Jade Stone

I wrote before that there seemed to be a disconnect between RTE's description of their new show, Exiles - which is about six Irish people moving to Vancouver to start a new life - and the reality that they only seemed to be there for as long as it took to film the show.

However, the producers have now revealed that the participants such as Jade Stone (right) were all encouraged to move, with their flights and accommodation paid for, but they said that while in every reality TV show there is an element of "construct", their words and actions in Canada were all their own.

Next we should teach the producers how to "construct" a sentence. Because when they talk about "construct", they mean "deceit".

The big lie about slender Emma

Former Miss Ireland Emma Waldron, who decamped to New York earlier this year, is continuing to make a name for herself in the modelling industry across the pond.

Emma Waldron

Emma Waldron

Her latest coup is being asked to take part in a documentary about plus-size models to be shot by legendary fashion photographer Antoine Verglas.

The New York based snapper has worked with such names as Naomi Campbell and Angelina Jolie.

The only problem with this is the bizarre notion that Emma, a gorgeous and - by any standards - slim woman, should be involved in a series about "curvy" models. It's deeply ironic that the country which has given chronic obesity to the world should consider slim and elegant Emma (24) to be a plus-size model.

Only in America ...

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