#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 7°C Saturday 8 May 2021

The FAI's new marketing guru has accused fans of anti-semitic abuse

On Thursday night, English branding expert Jonathan Gabay delivered a controversial brand review on the League of Ireland.

Gabay in Dublin earlier this week.
Gabay in Dublin earlier this week.
Image: Jonathan Gabay/Twitter

THE FAI’S NEW marketing guru has accused Irish fans of anti-semitic abuse.

On Thursday night, English branding expert Jonathan Gabay delivered a brand review of the League of Ireland.

Gabay’s 90-minute presentation was widely derided online for its mangled syntax and for its lavish praise of FAI chief executive John Delaney, who commissioned the report.

This weekend, Gabay rounded on League Ireland fans for alleged anti-semitism. He tweeted:

Due to vile antisemtic [sic] tweets I had to block my account to some. I have a family. I understand there are questions about my recent report.

While the allegation is difficult to verify due to Gabay’s penchant for blocking Irish journalists from his Twitter account, a review of over 90 replies to one widely-read tweet show no mention of his Jewish origins.

One later post, however does mention the word ‘shyster’. It’s unclear if the author knew of Gabay’s Jewish faith. It was also posted after Gabay’s complaint of anti-semitism.

In response, Gabay said: “Sorry I don’t mind comments but when you start with antisemitic remarks, you lost your argument for all the League.”

He added: “shyster look up the history if the word”.

In response, Gabay was accused of trying to “divert proper criticism” from his a report by “flinging ridiculous accusations”.


Gabay reportedly spent 12 weeks working on the report, which was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors and included the memorable section:

As a brand, the league delivers. Skills – (Player pathway). Inclusivity. Is Cool.

A section on fans in the report was titled “empty vessels make the loudest noise”, while other branding recommendations included painted bus stops.

Gabay also called for “confidential transparency” in the FAI’s dealings.

It’s unclear how much the FAI – which receives €2.7 million in government funding, more than any other sporting organisation – paid for the report. Gabay commands up to £7,000 per speech in the UK.

Read: 10 things to come out of today’s strange League of Ireland Brand Report launch

Read: A suicide bombing in Yemen has killed at least 30 soldiers

Read next: