The embattled FAI have been hit by yet another blow with the news that Three Ireland will not be renewing their flagship sponsorship next year, a deal which the company says has seen it invest €30 million in Irish football over the past ten years.
Partners with the FAI since 2010, the company had signed an extension to the deal in 2015 to run through until 2020. As primary sponsors of the national team, their logo is
Following the eruption of the controversy over governance and finances which has engulfed the FAI since March, Three had already flagged their concerns, saying in April that they regarded good corporate governance as being of the “utmost importance” and that it expected the same standards of corporate governance “from all partners we work with”.
In a statement today announcing that they would not be renewing their sponsorship when the deal expires in July, Three said that they had been a supporter of Irish football for 10 years with €30 million invested in the game through their sponsorship fee and activations.
Said the company’s Chief Commercial Officer Elaine Carey: "Having recently reviewed our full sponsorship portfolio, we have decided to consolidate our sponsorship investment in the area of music.
"At Three, we are entirely focused on supporting the Irish Men’s team through what we hope will be an exciting and successful qualification for the UEFA European Football Championship and the Irish Women’s team in their qualification journey for the UEFA Women’s European Championship. We also wish the Irish teams at every level the very best in the future."
The move comes days after incoming CEO John Foley decided not to take up his position at the helm at the last minute.
Government funding has been suspended at the beleaguered FAI for a number of months amid concern at governance.
Responding to the announcement from Three, the FAI thanked them "for their immense contribution to Irish football" over the last 10 years.
FAI President Donal Conway said: "The Board and the commercial team here at the FAI would like to thank Three Chief Executive Robert Finnegan and his colleagues for their support of Irish football.
"In their 10 years as proud backers of Irish football they have been Ireland’s number one supporter and we will always be grateful to them for their financial and personal support.
"We look forward to a successful eight months ahead with Three on board as we countdown to the Euro Play-Offs in March and the UEFA Euro 2020 games in Dublin next summer."