FAI board backs Quinn and Owens after St Pat's owner accuses pair of 'failing badly'

St Patrick’s Athletic owner Garrett Kelleher delivered stinging criticism of the FAI duo.
FAI board backs Quinn and Owens after St Pat's owner accuses pair of 'failing badly'

As attempts continue this week to facilitate a resumption of the League of Ireland, St Patrick’s Athletic owner Garrett Kelleher has told FAI board members that he believes Interim CEO Gary Owens and his Deputy Niall Quinn have “failed and failed badly”.

In response, the FAI Board, noting receipt of the correspondence, issued a statement saying: "The FAI has engaged in intensive and ongoing consultations with relevant stakeholders, including all SSE Airtricity League clubs, with regard to the resumption of the League.

"The Board is fully supportive of the efforts being made by the Executive team in this regard and we will continue to support these endeavours."

In an e-mail sent to Board members Paul Cooke, Martin Heraghty and Dick Shakespeare, Kelleher had written: “I am of the firm view that, albeit their intentions may be well meaning and they may have spent a considerable amount of time and effort over the last six months, Gary and Niall have failed and failed badly.

“Football is too important, and the domestic game is at a critical juncture where any more wrong or naive moves made by the executives could do even longer lasting damage. They have lost the confidence of St Patrick’s Athletic, I can’t speak for anyone else.

“I would like the three of you to consider, with your collective League of Ireland experience, stepping in to the breach now and working with the 10 or 19 clubs to figure out a way to try and get football up and recommenced.”

Kelleher charged that that, in a series of meetings which have taken place with clubs about plans to resume the League behind closed doors, the FAI executives have delivered “misleading representations…where they speak about the high probability of delivering UEFA, FIFA, Streaming, Government or other third-party funding.”

Efforts to advance a deal on restarting the League will resume on Wednesday when the clubs and the FAI meet for their latest teleconference.

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