FAI yet to ‘sufficiently’ explain €100k Delaney loan

The FAI has yet to “sufficiently” explain why it was given a €100,000 loan by John Delaney, Ireland’s independent sporting watchdog will warn today.

Sport Ireland will raise its ongoing concerns during a Dáil meeting as it emerged last night the former FAI chief executive has officially resigned from the FAI board just two weeks after quitting as chief executive.

In an opening statement to be given to the Oireachtas sports committee this morning, Sport Ireland’s John Treacy will say the independent body overseeing sports funding in Ireland still has unanswered questions over the loan.

While accepting the FAI has put forward reasons for the loan, Mr Treacy will say football chiefs have yet to “sufficiently” clarify the issue.

“Sport Ireland received a response from the president of the FAI, which acknowledged the loan of €100,000 to the FAI by its then chief executive.

“However, the contents of the FAI letter did not sufficiently explain the circumstances of this loan and its repayment, nor fully address the matter of compliance with Sport Ireland’s terms and conditions of grant approval,” Mr Treacy will say.

The Sport Ireland chief executive will also say that, after news of the €100,000 loan emerged, his group wrote to the FAI on March 19 seeking clarity on what the loan was for and the circumstances of its repayment.

The following week, on March 25, Sport Ireland wrote to the FAI a second time seeking further information and clarity on the separate matter of the FAI giving Mr Delaney €3,000 a year to rent a property in Malahide.

However, no reply to the second letter has yet been received.

Last month, Mr Delaney confirmed he gave the association a €100,000 loan to help it through what he said was a short-term cashflow problem and that it has been repaid.

In a statement last night, the FAI said: “The FAI is engaged with Sport Ireland and will continue to work with Sport Ireland in response to all matters raised.”

Mr Treacy’s planned comments to TDs were leaked last night as it emerged companies registration office records show Mr Delaney officially stepped down from the FAI’s board on March 26 after 17 years.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Shane Ross told TDs yesterday he expects to receive Sport Ireland’s report on the FAI later this week — and revealed the FAI will not be compliant with new governance guidelines until 2021.

Asked in the Dáil about FAI board member terms, Mr Ross said that — on his own direction — his department contacted the FAI about introducing maximum board term limits.

An FAI decision on term limits was then taken in February

“I would prefer that it was fully compliant by now. But it will be fully compliant by 2021,” Mr Ross said.

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