Republic of Ireland news

Former FAI CEO Delaney steps aside from role as investigation into financial transaction continues

Former FAI chief executive John Delaney has stepped aside from his role
Paul Ainsworth

JOHN Delaney has stepped aside as executive vice-president of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) pending the completion of an independent review.

The move follows a meeting of the board of the FAI yesterday after which the 51-year-old former chief executive agreed to "voluntarily step aside" while an independent investigation into "issues of concern" is carried out.

Mr Delaney stepped down from his CEO role last month when it emerged he gave a €100,000 loan to the FAI in 2017, without the knowledge of Sport Ireland, the body which oversees the public funding of sport organisations, and which has since suspended funding to the FAI.

Mr Delaney then took up the position of 'executive vice-president', but in a statement last night following the board meeting, the FAI said he was stepping down "with immediate effect", while two board members, honorary secretary Michael Cody and honorary treasurer Eddie Murray, were also revealed to have stepped aside from their roles.

"The board would like to thank Michael Cody and Eddie Murray for their long service to Irish football and wish them well after their voluntary resignations," a spokesperson said.

The statement continued: "The meeting of the board also mandated the sub-committee, set up to review governance and recently publicised financial transactions, to press ahead with their work as a matter of urgency."

Promising that Sport Ireland would be updated ahead of a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Sport today regarding the matter, the spokesperson added: "The Board of the Association wishes to assure members, football supporters and all stakeholders and sponsors that it is expediting all processes designed to restore faith in the Football Association of Ireland. The Board acknowledges all concerns raised by stakeholders and supporters and is working to ensure that all government funding is restored to Irish football at the earliest opportunity."

At a previous meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Sport, Mr Delaney told members his loan was made after he was told by FAI finance officials that there was no available funds to cover a potential shortfall that would see the body exceed its overdraft limit.

Mr Delaney said he transferred the money from his personal account, adding: "I did not receive any interest payment, and I would never have expected it. I was only acting to assist the FAI and the benefit of Irish football."

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