By Dermot Keely (@keelysbar)

I missed last week’s blog because I feel I’m commenting on the same things I have been banging on about for the last 20 years. I stupidly believed that we were in a time of change, a time of openness and transparency, a new look FAI. Alas, the John Delaney cloud looms large over this organisation.  It is now a case of Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

What is the current position of the FAI with regard to John Delaney? What is the position with the numerous enquiries set up to get to the bottom of the sordid mess that he left behind?

Are we, as usual, going to let the whole affair disappear like a puff of smoke? Nobody will be found culpable and the old system will be put back, but with new faces and no new ideas. We will do it the Irish way. We all know how the various tribunals ended. Same Old, Same Old.

We have had the situation in the last couple of weeks, where we had a draw for the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup at 8.30 in the morning. This is bad enough, but it was on RTE, a station that ignores the League of Ireland. Why would you allow a station that will not show LOI teams playing in Europe, let alone in our League, host the draw?  Easy way out! No thought needed, no work needed, just let the bus trundle on with no driver. Same Old Same Old.

Where was Donal Conway? The good man, who is overlooking the changes needed to make the FAI fit for purpose. Allegedly, he didn’t go on air because he was going to be asked questions about the Johnny Giles Foundation. If this is true, I ask you what has changed? Why is the FAI afraid of allowing reporters to do their job?  No, anything difficult comes up – don’t answer questions openly and honestly, retreat behind the John Delaney tried and trusted method of not allowing people to do their job. If questions can’t be asked the answers don’t have to be given.

With their every action the FAI demean the League of Ireland. We now have the quarter-finals of our most prestigious cup competition being re-arranged so that teams can play a Mickey Mouse competition. Actually, to call it a Mickey Mouse competition is an insult to Mickey Mouse. Same Old, Same Old.

In the last blog I slated UCD for the sacking of Collie O’Neill, which I believe showed UCD in a very poor light. But just like clubs, Managers and Players must have standards. Neale Fenn’s move from Longford to Cork City baffled me. Neale has done a great job with Longford  How can he up sticks and leave with Longford still in the Cup and more than likely in the play-offs to get into the Premier Division. Did he not owe it to Longford to stay until the end of the season and then move, why move with 3 matches to go? So why would clubs treat a Manager correctly if this does not work both ways?

Talking of the First Division, Shels are a step closer to returning to the top flight, a place where I believe they truly belong. I can only hope that next season I will be watching Shels v Bohs, and Shels v Shamrock Rovers on TV, that’s if anybody in the FAI gets of their ass and does a proper deal that promotes our League, one is not dependent on crumbs from the table of our National Broadcaster.


Photo Credit: Cork City FC (Neale Fenn)

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