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No pay-off for ex-CEO as the curtain comes down

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FILLING IN: Gary Owens is the new interim CEO at the FAI. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

FILLING IN: Gary Owens is the new interim CEO at the FAI. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

FILLING IN: Gary Owens is the new interim CEO at the FAI. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

It is, officially, the end of an era.

For the first time since 1996, when he became Waterford United's representative on the FAI senior council, an era so innocent that his home address in Tralee was printed in the FAI's annual handbook, John Delaney has no formal association with association football.

A 146-word statement issued yesterday by European football's governing body UEFA said it "takes note of John Delaney's resignation with immediate effect from his position as UEFA Executive Committee member which was due to end in 2021."

Delaney, along with other committee members, had been entitled to an annual salary of €160,000 from the ExCo role.

UEFA sources insist that there was no pay-off for the Waterford native, though he was being paid his UEFA salary up to this week. The FAI's annual accounts, published last month, showed that his severance package from that body was €462,000.

An FAI statement issued in March said "his UEFA remuneration for 2018 has been donated back to the FAI on a voluntary basis".

His UEFA exit leaves Delaney without any formal position in football for the first time in 24 years. The FAI yesterday confirmed Gary Owens, former CEO of Athletics Ireland and Down Syndrome Ireland, as their new CEO, their fifth in 10 months, including Delaney.

It came 113 days after Delaney's ties with the FAI were severed in a press statement which was even more brief (103 words), as he resigned his position of Executive Vice President.

Delaney had remained on UEFA's Executive Committee after he stepped down as FAI CEO in March, following revelations of a €100,000 loan to the association by Delaney.

But he was sidelined by that powerful UEFA committee and the ExCo meetings which followed those revelations about the FAI's finances (Baku in May, Ljubljana in September and Switzerland in November) went ahead without Delaney's presence as he had been asked not to attend by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

Ceferin and other ExCo members, such as Zbigniew Boniek, head of the Polish football federation, had repeatedly refused to comment on Delaney's status, as he was still a committee member who was not attending meetings.

Senior UEFA figures were keen to have the Delaney matter cleared up before the next ExCo meeting, in Amsterdam on March 2, a key meeting ahead of the Euro 2020 finals.

A senior UEFA source told the Herald last week that Delaney's exit from the ExCo was "imminent" as they attempted to agree on the manner and timing of his resignation with Delaney's legal advisers.