Members of the FAI including President Donal Conway and Executive Vice President John Delaney were in front of the Oireachtas Committee for Transport Tourism and Sport today.
The Committee began for the public at 10 am and after a number of brief adjournments ran until 1:45. It will return again in the afternoon session at 3 pm.
It started with President Donal Conway reading out a lengthy opening statement before Executive Vice President John Delaney gave his shorter statement following a half an hour adjournment.
- In his statement John Delaney outlined that he was; “Advised at this meeting [on 25 April 2017] that if all cheques and FAI bank transfers issued to third parties at that time were presented for payment, the FAI would exceed its overdraft limit of €1.5 million on its bank account which was held with Bank of Ireland.“At the meeting, I expressed serious concern and surprise as to how the FAI could have arrived at this position. I recall thinking at the time, if I had been approached even a few days earlier, I may have been able to better address the issue.“As the matter was pressing and we had only a few hours to resolve potential issues that would arise if the bank overdraft was exceeded, as a precautionary measure and to assist the FAI, I wrote a cheque for €100,000 from my personal current account to the FAI.”
- Delaney explained that based on legal advice he could not make further comments on the loan which was given to the FAI in April 2017.
- He also did not have to answer questions based on his 14 years as CEO based on legal advice.
- Only three members of the FAI’s board knew about the €100,000 loan at the time. The rest found out on March 16th along with the rest of the general public.
- The subject of the loan did not arise in June 2017 during a board meeting.
- The loan was given as the FAI were in debt to a creditor. Noel Rock questioned whether that was Dundalk or not. President Donal Conway didn’t confirm this.
- The FAI’s 2017 auditors Deloitte were not made aware of the loan.
- Donal Conway outlined that he did not sign off on a statement on March 18th which outlined that the board had been kept informed of the loan.
- The FAI did not advertise for Delaney’s new role of Executive Vice President as according to Conway he was the person most suited for it given his UEFA and FIFA experience
- Conway was not in a position to discuss where the new Executive Vice President’s salary will be coming from when quizzed by Ruth Coppinger.
- Delaney was also in no position to discuss what that salary will be.
- The FAI have had no communication from FIFA and despite senior officials from UEFA being in Dublin for the U17s draw, there were no discussions with the European body.
- Conway refused to reveal how much the Grant Thornton and Mazars reviews will be costing the FAI. He outlined that “they will be worthwhile.”
- The Chair, Fergus O’Dowd, strongly advised the FAI to consider a “regime change” before the start of the afternoon’s session.