Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has weighed in on the recent controversies surrounding the FAI, insisting that the off-field issues have had zero effect on himself and the players.
The FAI has been in turmoil over the past month following the emergence of John Delaney’s €100,000 bridging loan to the association in April 2017, which has resulted in the former Chief Executive as well as a number of board members stepping down from their positions.
The numerous stories, reports and Oireachtas Committees have gripped the nation over the past few weeks but McCarthy was keen to outline that nothing that has gone on off the field has had any negative effect on him or his players.
“I’m immune to it a little bit because I live in England. I’ve been kept up to date with it of course and I’ve read bits and pieces of it but it doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t affect the football or the players so unless that starts happening I amen’t going to give it any credence.
“Until it comes to fruition I can read all sorts in papers and if I took everything on board I’d have a different view of it but I just don’t, I carry on doing my job.”
The issue of corporate governance in the organisation appears to still be up in the air given Delaney and the board’s current position and the pending investigations.
Speaking at the launch of the 2019 SportsDirect FAI Summer Soccer Schools, McCarthy outlined that regardless of recent resignations, the board is still his direct employer.
“I work for the FAI and I take it that there isn’t only one boss.
“There were 11 people on the board that were party to my being employed so if one of them has left I’m still employed by the FAI, the board that is running it and I believe the board are still there and operating so I’m being employed by them.”
McCarthy, in his second stint as Irish boss, worked very closely with Delaney during his first spell from 1998 to 2002 but outlined that since his return he has had “minimal contact” with the former Chief Executive.
“I worked closely with him in the first stint but I’ve only been here since December 1st. My contact with John has been minimal.
“I spoke to him on the phone of course and any issues that we’ve had I’ve discussed them – not issues, anything that needed to be discussed, where I’m going to go, what I’m doing, if I’m supporting him in any initiatives. But that’s for the FAI, not John, the FAI.”
Despite McCarthy’s insistence that the off-field debacle does not affect what occurs on the pitch, the fans’ displeasure did find itself at the forefront during the game against Georgia.
In the 33rd minute of the game, a host of Irish fans threw tennis balls onto the pitch at the Aviva in protest over the FAI’s corporate governance.
“I think that’s had it’s consequences,” said McCarthy.
“Isn’t that what the protest was about?
“It would appear to be that the consequences are that things are changing. They aren’t with the football.
“I’ll turn up and go to Portugal unless somebody turns up and tells me we can’t do it because of financial reasons, or we can’t play here (at the Aviva) because they’ve shut it because of what’s going on. Who’s going to tell me that? I am still doing the job I am employed to do and I will continue to do it in the way I do it.”