Sunday 26 January 2020

'Tough Days' ahead for FAI

Conway to see out his term as issues grow for soccer body

STAYING THE COURSE: David Conway. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
STAYING THE COURSE: David Conway. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

FAI President Donal Conway has conceded that there are more "tough days ahead" for the troubled body, but stressed that he plans to stay put for the remainder of his tenure on the interim board.

And Conway has asserted his belief that his decision to stay on until next July will not have any impact on the government's call on whether to restore state funding.

He was speaking following an FAI Council meeting at Abbotstown that delivered an update on the ongoing reviews and reports into the Association's affairs. Conway and Vice President Paul Cooke confirmed that a Revenue Commissioners probe into 'tax issues' has been added to the list.

The Sport Ireland commissioned audit from Northern Irish firm KOSI is due for completion in mid-November and the FAI commissioned report from Mazars is due later that month or in early December - although full publication may be dependent on legal advice related to individuals named within it.

That is also the approximate timeframe for the resumption of the FAI AGM for the presentation of 2018 accounts, a gathering that is set to deliver bad news on the financial position.

"I think there are some tough days ahead of us would be my view," said Conway. "The reports, okay, they will be retrospective in the main and we might be trying to be more forward looking now. But I still think the reports and managing the output of the reports will be difficult days."

Cooke added that the accounts will present a stark reality of where the FAI stand.

"They won't be pretty," he said. "I think there will be shock, yes. I'm not going to confirm any figure or anything like that but they're not pretty."

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