The FAI’s biggest earners, including Mick McCarthy, Robbie Keane, and Stephen Kenny, will defer half of their April salary under cutbacks announced by chief executive Gary Owens.
On the back of an email to the 207 FAI employees on Sunday warning of implications from the Covid-19 outbreak, employees were this morning informed of the scheme.
Deferrals will be on an equitable sliding scale, ranging between 10 per cent and 50 per cent for anyone earning above €25,000, with senior staff impacted by the biggest deferrals.
The pay deferrals will be monitored on an ongoing basis with a review planned at the end of April as the Association comes to terms with the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The FAI insists it intends to restore full pay and refund all deferrals as soon as the national economic situation improves.
“Like the rest of the country, the FAI is now feeling the full financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our projected income streams in these exceptional circumstances,” said Owens, appointed last month alongside his deputy Niall Quinn.
The financial challenges faced by the Association are such now that we have been left with no choice but to implement these pay deferrals on an equitable basis. Those who are paid the most by the FAI will take the largest deferrals.
“This difficult decision has been taken to protect the viability of the Association and the future for our staff. Like other national governing bodies who have taken such measures, we will explore all avenues to help us through this crisis.
“We thank our employees for their understanding at this difficult time for everybody in Ireland. Their commitment to our game and the Association has been limitless over a very difficult 12 months and I know they will continue to deliver for Irish football in the wake of these latest challenges.”
Influencing the FAI’s belt-tightening is the likelihood of the Euro play-off against Slovakia being delayed further to the autumn.
Owens and President Gerry McAnaney will once again represent the association on a videoconference called by UEFA for tomorrow.
The summit of 55 member federations will hear an update from the working group established to monitor the Covid-19 pandemic, with the June play-offs set to perish.
The growing impact of the crisis across Europe, especially in the UK, will push plans back again.
Ireland’s semi-final in Bratislava had already been rescheduled from March to June but September, or even October, is now deemed the more realistic target.
That will have knock-on effects for UEFA Nations League – Ireland are due to face Bulgaria and Finland – and the FAI’s managerial succession plan.
Deputy chief executive Niall Quinn had indicated the dilemma surrounding McCarthy vacating the role for Kenny wouldn’t be broached until after the play-offs, which could include a final against Bosnia Herzegovina or Northern Ireland.