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Sunday 26 January 2020

SFAI defend corporate box move

Gianni Infantino
Gianni Infantino

The Schoolboys FAI have defended their controversial decision to spend €50,000 on a corporate box for the Aviva Stadium as they "did not want to see their parent body suffer".

There was some criticism in schoolboy circles last week when it was revealed that the SFAI, the body responsible for the largest group of active players in the FAI, had spent €50,000 on a box for the Aviva.

In a statement, the SFAI confirmed the lease of a box on a five-year deal at €10,000 per year.

"This deal came about at a time when the FAI had well-publicised cash-flow problems," the statement said.

"The approach was initiated by the then CEO John Delaney.

Affiliates

"The SFAI, like many of the FAI affiliates, did not want to see their parent body suffer, and in a desire to assist the national association overcome the financial problem, at that time, the Executive Committee provided the agreed funding.

"Talks with potential sponsors have been positive and we continue to look to attract in new recruits to our sponsorship portfolio.

"Having access to a corporate box is a decided advantage in such a business environment."

In a move to try and help secure the future of the League of Ireland, officials from the Premier Club Alliance, who represent the major LOI clubs, have been invited to meet Minister for Sport Shane Ross and other politicians next week.

Meawhile, the backers of the all-island league have said they will reconvene for more talks with stakeholders next month to step up their own bid to reshape the domestic game

Hopes of a new-look unified league boosted by a claim by FIFA president Gianni Infantino that the world body could drop their long-standing opposition to cross-border leagues.

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