Delaney happy to accept FAI support from ‘loyal’ O’Brien

DESPITE the stinging criticismsof Denis O’Brien contained inthe report of the Moriarty Tribunal, FAI chief executive John Delaney has said that he is happy to have the wages of Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli continue to be part-paid by the businessman.

It’s understood that O’ Brien covers half of the estimated €2.4 million wage bill for Ireland’s Italian management team, and yesterday at a press conference in Ennis, Delaney paid tribute to tycoon for his “vital” contribution.

“The Moriarty Tribunal has nothing to do with the association,” said the FAI boss. “Denis has been very good to the FAI. He’s allowed us to appoint a world class manager and a high profile assistant manager.

“Without that support, we couldn’t have done what we did over the last number of years.

“He’s been very loyal to the FAI. His contributions are given to us without any conditions, he’s never looked for any favour of any kind — just to allow us to try and appoint the best manager than we can possibly do.

“Denis’ contribution is vital towards the wages we pay them.”

Delaney said that the issue of a new contract for Trapattoni and Tardelli has not yet been discussed by the board of the FAI but revealed that, whatever decision is taken, O’ Brien will then be consulted to see if he wishes to maintain his financial support.

“Denis’ contribution for the last two campaigns has been essential to be able to afford Trapattoni and Tardelli,” he said.

“When we decide who we would like to manage Ireland going forward after this campaign, I would then have a discussion with Denis as to whether he would be prepared to continue that contribution.

“But, first of all, the board will decide what type of manager they want — do they want to retain the existing manager or do they want to look afresh? — that’ll be a decision for the FAI.

“It’s nice to hear the manager and Marco say that they would like to stay, that’s always important. When it’s discussed at board level, we’ll appraise the media of the situation. But it’s not customary to discuss employees’ contracts. I don’t like doing it.”

Delaney noted that the manager has already said he is happy to park contract talks until the end of the present European Championship campaign and expressed no fears that the Italian could be tempted to take up another job while his Irish future remains unresolved.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I think the relationship is very good. These things are built on trust, there is a lot between the management and the association.”

Delaney, who was speaking at a press conference to announce this summer’s FAI AGM in Ennis in July and an accompanying week-long festival of football in Clare, described the new UEFA centralised television rights deal as “a coup not only for Irish football but European” football and revealed that the FAI already has “a written agreement” with UEFA which guarantees them a minimum take of €40 million over four years.

He said that the FAI would previously have been budgeting for “about half that” but, as a result of the deal, he said they could now look forward with confidence to being out of debt by 2020.

Meanwhile, with Porto due to take up their full allocation of 12,000 tickets, Braga will today confirm their requirements for the Europa League final at the Aviva on Wednesday week, which Delaney expects to attract a full house.

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