Irish Sports Council chief blasts 'ridiculous situation' as Billy Walsh says his position was 'dismantled'

Irish Sports Council chief blasts 'ridiculous situation' as Billy Walsh says his position was 'dismantled'

CEO of the Irish Sports Council John Treacy has described the resignation of Billy Walsh as head coach of Irish boxing as a "ridiculous situation to be in".

Yesterday Walsh issued a statement announcing his resignation as head coach of the Irish High Performance Unit.

He said that the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) had "not made it possible for me to continue on in the role".

Within hours Ireland’s Olympic and world champion Katie Taylor said that she was “shocked at the news”, describing it as ”a big loss for Irish boxing”.

CEO of the IABA Fergal Carruth said yesterday: “The IABA has been in discussions with Billy following his approach to the organisation to seek improved terms and conditions after he stated that he had received an offer from USA Boxing.

“The IABA is deeply disappointed not to retain his valued services, and for the avoidance of any doubt, the IABA has done its utmost to retain Billy Walsh as Head Coach."

This morning Treacy said they intervened multiple times in discussions between Walsh and the (IABA) in a bid to keep him in the job.

"This has been going on since last February", Treacy told Newstalk Breakfast. "We intervened many many times during this. We must have had 20 interventions with the IABA. We had had eight or nine meetings.

He said Billy Walsh was very flexible in the negotiations and that the agreement fell down on non-financial aspects.

Treacy said the Sports Council was told on two occasions that a deal would be taken to the IABA board for approval, but that didn't materialise: “We were told last week that, yes, the deal is done.

“Then we hear on Monday that it has fallen down on the non-financial aspects, which are between an employer and employee, which beggars belief.

“It is clearly a ridiculous situation to be in.”

Last night Walsh gave an interview on Newstalk’s Off The Ball explaining the reasons behind his decision to resign.

"The financial terms were grand but then the non-financial part of it was unacceptable to me," Walsh explained. “That's why we don't have agreement.”

Walsh has overseen a spectacularly successful period for Irish boxing, but said the autonomy that allowed him do his job successfully was being eroded.

"I just want to be able to do the job,” he said. “This has been dismantled along the way in my view and I wanted that control back so that we could drive this team forward heading towards Rio.

"The last year and a half it started to be dismantled and people being taken out of your office."

You can listen to highlights of Walsh’s interview on Off the Ball here.

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