Former Irish manager Brian Kerr has hit out at the FAI’s structure, spending and management following a difficult year for football in the country.
Speaking on Off The Ball on Wednesday evening, Kerr addressed the departure of the current management team of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane but also spoke passionately about the need for a “clean sweep” at the helm of Irish football.
“I think the game has been mis-managed here for years and years,” began Kerr who was highly critical of the FAI’s current structures, demanding transparency for fans and the media.
“Now I think there’s a chance, an opportunity for everyone that loves the game to demand an explanation for what’s gone on, to demand some transparency.
“I think the focus now should be on the board who allow John Delaney to run the association in the way he runs it. That’s where the focus should be now as much as it should be on the appointment of the senior manager and the under-21 manager. There’s space and time now for a bit of a clean sweep I think and that’s what should happen.”
Kerr’s discussion comes fresh off the news of O’Neill’s departure from the Irish set-up despite only being given a new contract, worth in the region of 1.9 million a year, 12 months ago.
The former Irish U16s and Irish U18s manager was also highly critical of the FAI’s spending, explaining that the money that went into O’Neill’s revised contract as well as the debt that is still being paid on the Aviva Stadium, should instead be invested in a proper academy system for the country.
“In my opinion, the whole stadium project went pear-shaped. We’ve not had any investment in the game for years now. They seem to be hellbent on paying off the debt by 2020 or 2021. What’s the rush? Why not invest the 30 or 40 million into the game?
“We don’t have a proper academy in Ireland, it’s ridiculous in this day and age. We’ve no proper academy base or structure to develop the players that we need to in competition with other countries.”
Kerr has been a name that has been thrown about as a potential replacement for O’Neill but with the Dubliner confirming that he has had no meaningful correspondence with the FAI apart from a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) which is related to coaching licence maintenance, this appears to be unlikely.
When asked who he would like to see replace O’Neill, Kerr made it clear that he feels Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny is the right man for the job.
“I would love to see Stephen Kenny getting a go at it. I think he’s earned it,” said Kerr.
“I think he would be a good fit for the job. But I wouldn’t have any problem with Mick McCarthy getting the job. Mick is available. I think he would be interested. He still has the enthusiasm. He’s probably a better manager now than when he finished up in 2002 with the international team. But I’m sure there would be other candidates will emerge over the next few days, unless the FAI make a very quick appointment.”