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John Delaney says his FAI job switch was because his workload was 'impossible'

The new executive vice-president says he was doing “three jobs” in the FAI.

Delaney is also on the Uefa board.
Delaney is also on the Uefa board.
Image: PA Images

FORMER FAI CEO John Delaney has said that his new role at the association is because it was “impossible” for him to “do three jobs”.

The Football Association of Ireland announced a fortnight ago that Delaney was to step down from the role of CEO to take up a newly-created role of executive vice-president.

The announcement came as questions were being asked over why Delaney had provided the association with a €100,000 loan in 2017.

Sport Ireland is due before an Oireachtas committee today to outline its knowledge on the matter, having said yesterday that the FAI had not sufficiently explained the loan.

Speaking about his new role to Tipp FM’s Extra Time Junior Football Podcast, Delaney did not talk about the controversy surrounding the loan but said that his new role was because he was overworked as CEO.

“The way it’s been with the association over the last number of years, in my own personal case, I’ve been trying to attend grassroots football functions and games every weekend, I’ve given my life to that and I love it. I get great energy out of it, I love helping the clubs, I love meeting the volunteers, I love grassroots people,” Delaney said.

And then during the week there’s an organisation with a turnover of €50 million, with 200 staff. So it’s a huge organisation now and then there’s a huge international dimension. I’m on the board of Uefa as it is.

“Apart from that we have a feasibility study to do a World Cup bid with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there are meetings in England on that next week and that’s making significant progress.

“There’s an under-21 bid for the under-21 euros with Northern Ireland in 2023.”

There’s centralised television deals to be done, we’re starting the process of negotiating that with Uefa, which is a lot of money for the FAI which then means a lot of money for grassroots football and other projects. And I could go on.

“That’s just a snapshot of some of the projects that I’m turning my attention to, and it really was impossible to do the three jobs I just laid out to you for one person, that’s why the association commissioned an independent report to split the duties,” Delaney said.

He added that he was “looking forward” to his new role and said there was “a lot we can deliver over the next number of years”.

As CEO, Delaney’s salary was €360,000, having once been as high as €450,000, but the FAI has said that it was be “substantially less” in his new role

Delaney himself is due to appear before the Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport on 10 April to answer questions about the FAI.

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Rónán Duffy

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