Will there be change? – The Dermot Keely Column

Can someone explain to me why the League of Ireland clubs have to play so many fixtures in April?  It appears nonsensical that the clubs have to risk life and limb to fulfil a glut of fixtures.

I think there are a couple of options which could happen;

A. Extend the League by 2/3 weeks.

B. Do away with the summer break.

The first option is expensive for the smaller clubs in the Premier Division and would also impact on the First Division as regards playoffs etc.

The second option to me is a realistic one. When we agreed to go for summer football I don’t believe it was ever intended that we take a summer break. I accept that every couple of years we could have a problem if Ireland qualified for a major tournament. Surely we can deal with that, if and when the problem arises.

Many managers complain about the problems that arise with the glut of fixtures. The full time clubs are really being handed a huge advantage with the present fixture list. I believe it’s a a problem that could be easily sorted out if there was dialogue between the clubs themselves and the FAI.

The John Delaney saga continues. He appeared before the Oireachtas Committee – or did he? He is all Lawyered up. After a brief monologue about all he has done for Irish football he proceeded to tell us that on legal advice he would not answer questions on his time as CEO (14 YEARS) but would answer questions on the job he gave himself 17 DAYS ago – Executive Vice President.  

After the “Long Day” of Oireachtas hearings, as John Delaney called it, even though he did not answer questions, suffice to say the fellow members of the cabal did what they do – support their great leader because they know he will be forever grateful.

We had a Treasurer who stated that he knew nothing about the infamous €100,000 loan. He also did not know how many bank accounts the FAI held, and indeed he did not feel insulted or undermined in his role when he realised that he was outside of the Golden Circle of 3 who knew about the loan. Indeed, how can the board stay in place, when the majority of them did not know about the loan but signed off on the Accounts for 2017? I believe that this is a breach of company law.

The fact that the Sport Ireland has stopped grants to the FAI is a serious blow to grassroots football and they are now being punished because of the actions of John Delaney and those close to him. This is the “family” that John Delaney purports to love!

He has run the FAI as his own personal fiefdom, where he and he alone was responsible for handing out grants and getting as much publicity as possible. Now there are difficult questions to answer and he is passing responsibility to those close to him, who seem ready to fall on their swords to protect him.

Maybe the attitude of the FAI is perfectly summed up by the treatment meted out to Des Casey – a man who has devoted himself to League of Ireland and European soccer and should now be enjoying the fruits of his labour. To withdraw his VIP tickets which meant an 83 year old man with mobility problems would have to make his way to the Upper East Stand is a terrible way to treat such a man. He is now unable to attend, and watch his beloved Ireland.

It is time for a fresh start, a new beginning. If those people do not resign en-masse it is time for the Government to force their hand.

Or is our Government represented by the outrageous performance of Michael Healy-Rae.  Are we ready to accept that in the 21st Century, Gombeenism is not only alive and well but is actually flourishing.

I could write so much more but I have to stop myself because as I write I get more and more annoyed. The FAI claim that an increase in attendance in the League of Ireland is down to them. Not so! John Delaney fooled our League for many years and any improvement is despite you – NOT because of you and your minions.

One thought on “Will there be change? – The Dermot Keely Column”

  1. Ordinary football fans can make big changes by BOYCOTTING Ireland matches at the Aviva. Alos, BOYCOTT the businesses that sponsor the FAI – AND TELL THEM WHY. They will soon get the message.

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