Christmas arrives. Die Hard is on. Only this year it doesn’t involve Bruce Willis climbing up an elevator chute and killing baddies. No, this year Die Hard took place at the reconvened FAI AGM.
Swap the Nakatomi Plaza for the Citywest Hotel, where there was little Christmas cheer to be found yesterday as far more sobering thoughts abounded.
Liquidation or examinership of the FAI are now real possibilities, according to FAI executive lead Paul Cooke.
The potential consequences of either of these scenarios are uncertain and frightening. It must be a very worrying time to be an FAI employee.
Similarly, employees, players, and volunteers of League of Ireland, intermediate, junior, and schoolboy clubs will be very concerned and that is before we consider the position of our national sides. For most Irish fans, either scenario doesn’t bear thinking about.
An equally disturbing revelation came from FAI accountants, Deloitte, who stated that they believe they were misled.
Nor could Cooke guarantee that there aren’t more damaging revelations on the way next year. With a number of reports still pending on the mess that is Irish football in 2019, you can be fairly certain that we have not reached the bottom yet.
Maybe it’s just the holiday spirit in me, but I’m growing weary of the seemingly never-ending bad news and the drawn-out nature of the disclosures. I’m hardly alone in growing fed up, or in dreaming of a new dawn at some stage down the road.
Maybe I’ve just had too many glasses of mulled wine or Granny has spiked the Christmas pudding again but I believe if we reorganise Irish football in a professional and responsible manner, we can achieve great things and become a sporting community Irish people can be proud of.
We are far from that now though, and I do fear that Government’s mandate to clear out ‘the old board’ amounts to an over-simplistic understanding of the problem.
Getting rid of ‘the baddies’ may be required to bring change, but meaningful change means following through and delivering a whole new direction for the game here.
The hope is that better days lie ahead, but the fear is that Die Hard with a Vengeance will play out next year or, even worse, Back to the Future.