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John Delaney and other football bosses invited to appear before Oireachtas committee

TD Catherine Murphy says there are concerns about salaries and transparency within the FAI.

Image: Niall Carson

AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE has decided to invite FAI boss John Delaney to appear before them to explain his organisation’s finances and governance. 

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy, who is a member of the Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport, has also called for League of Ireland officials to attend.

The committee decided to extend the invite to Fran Gavin, FAI Director of Competitions should be invited, as well as National League Executive and board of management member, Eamon Naughton. 

Murphy said Gavin and Naughton may be able to provide some background to the challenges facing the national league.

During the summer, there was some controversy following the FAI announcement that an account with €300,000 was to be set up as a fallback for future wage woes at clubs.

There are further concerns about the League of Ireland, with former Republic of Ireland international Niall Quinn telling Virgin Media Sport today that he believes the League of Ireland must breakaway from the FAI.

Murphy called on Delaney to appear following reports about the salaries being paid to ex-Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and his coaches.

Murphy has also raised concerns about Delaney’s €360,000 salary. 

Delaney has defended the salary paid to outgoing Ireland boss Martin O’Neill amid criticism of how Irish football is being run.

In a press conference he dismissed the concerns claiming that Murphy was making the comments for the sake of “publicity”. 

“I’ve appeared in front of many Dail Committees,” he said.

I’ve no interest in a sideshow or anyone looking for publicity.

“I have no problem meeting anybody who wants to discuss Irish football and make sure it goes to its next development. 

“[Accusations of lack of transparency] are completely unfair. I’ll give you one example — my own salary is transparent. Other sports bodies, for their own reasons, choose not to reveal their CEOs salaries. I’m probably one of the very few whose salary does get disclosed.”

On the issues of O’Neill’s salary, Delaney added: “I read things in the paper and you read them too. You can talk about ‘expensive,’ but whatever way you look at it, he was a good manager. He got us to a major tournament. He got us to a playoffs in Denmark. We were 60 minutes away from getting to a World Cup. We were beaten by France and France went onto the European final. He did one hell of a job for Irish football.

“I’ve read and heard a lot of stuff over the last period that’s been very unfair.
He was a very good appointment from the FAI and his bringing through of players will stand to Mick and Stephen Kenny in the future.”

Speaking in the committee today, Murphy said other bosses from the GAA and IRFU have appeared before around the issues of governance, adding that the FAI and League of Ireland officials should also do so.

Given the Irish football teams “underperformance” and due to the issue of sport development being under the committee’s remit, she said they should appear before the members. 

A letter will now be issued to Delaney and FAI representatives. Delaney has appeared before the committee before in January 2017.

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