herald

Saturday 19 October 2019

Quinn group will ask for more FAI State funds

Niall Quinn
Niall Quinn

Leaders of a consortium established by Niall Quinn are set to use a stakeholders' forum this Friday to tell Minister Shane Ross to push for increased State funding of football.

And they will be using his stinging criticism of the FAI as evidence to support their claim that it's justified.

Funding has currently been suspended due to Government unhappiness with the FAI due to the recent crisis emanating from John Delaney's bridging loan to his employers.

Minister Ross and the FAI are at loggerheads over the appointment of Noel Mooney as interim six-month boss on a secondment from UEFA.

Mr Ross was strongly critical of the move in a Sunday Independent article, citing Mooney's past as an FAI employee under Delaney.

A governance review group are currently exploring future options for the FAI and a collection of business people put together by Mr Quinn are part of the process.

They have also been invited along to this Friday's forum which has been arranged by Mr Ross.

Ex-Digicel employee and founder of the Caribbean Cricket League, Kieran Foley, has flown in to attend with Quinn. They have put together a plan which relies on Government funding to support the construction of academies.

As it stands, the state contributes €2.5m per annum to the FAI.

In his Sunday Independent piece, Ross said that the "nation cares about soccer" and the "national passion deserves better".

Those points are likely to be repeated to him in the drive for Government backing to fund necessary reforms.

Mr Quinn's team will point to the support received by the horse racing and greyhound racing industry who collected €80m last year from a levy on all bets in Ireland - including on football.

Former Ireland striker Mr Quinn refused to give details on his plans at a Virgin Media event in Dublin yesterday, stating that he is looking forward to outlining his "worthwhile proposal" to Mr Ross and other stakeholders on Friday.

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