It has emerged that there is no new cash windfall for Irish football in Uefa funding announced today, because a tranche of future payments from European football’s governing body had been drawn down in advance by the FAI in 2018.
Uefa has released €236.5m to help its 55 member associations meet the challenges of Covid-19 and “rebuild football” in their countries. That works out at €4.3m for each association but the FAI does not stand to benefit because the previous regime in Abbotstown drew down advance payments from the funding programme which Uefa is now redeploying in response to the huge financial problems the game is experiencing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Uefa, the €4.3m payment is in the form of redeployed ‘HatTrick’ funding which is usually distributed to national associations to cover running costs and to help develop specific and targeted areas of domestic football.
However, with this latest move, Uefa has decided to allow each association to set its own priorities in light of the negative impact of the coronavirus on football at all levels.
Announcing the funding, Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin said: "Our sport is facing an unprecedented challenge brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. Uefa wants to help its members to respond in ways that are appropriate to their specific circumstances.
“As a result, we have agreed that up to €4.3m per association, paid for the remainder of this season and next, as well as part of the investment funding, can be used as our members see fit to rebuild the football community.
"I believe this is a responsible decision to help as much as we can; and I am proud of the unity that football is showing throughout this crisis. Without doubt, football will be at the heart of life returning to normal. When that time comes, football must be ready to answer that call."