By Dermot Keely (@keelysbar)
The day of judgement finally arrived. This day should be forever remembered as the FAI’s Black Friday. We finally got to see the 2018 accounts and the reconstituted accounts for 2016 and 2017. What an absolute horror story.
An organisation who former CEO John Delaney said would be debt free by 2020. Well no it won’t!
We have just found out that the FAI are now €55m in debt. This is before all the other reports come up with their findings. These reports are going to cost another €5m at least to tell us what I know already. The FAI is/was an incompantent organisation, run at the top by Mé Feiners, interested only in their own vanity, in their own little area, feeding titbits to the associations they represented. Slapping themselves on the back for dishing out cash to their own little parish. Cash that wasn’t theirs. It was ours. By ours I mean the ordinary taxpayer. The money used by John Delaney and his nodding dogs to keep themselves in power and to the life they were accustomed to.
I have been writing about the FAI and John Delaney for the past 10 years. It is a club for the few, not for the many, run by a CEO whose main interest was himself, and as I have said a million times over the years, the National Team. He abandoned his problem child a long time ago. Let this child look after itself while he was out wining and dining as dictators do.
How could one person hold such sway? How could the council not know what was going on? How can 2 or 3 people be allowed to deal with the CEO’s contract and the council which they represented not be informed? How can the payroll dept not know? What kind of an organisation has no checks or balances? They are a disgrace to themselves and to Irish Football.
Listening to Donal Conway yesterday whingeing over how hard he has worked over the last 2 years sickened me. It might come as a shock to him, but Donal we all work hard. I’m glad he didn’t work any harder because we would probably be €100m in debt.
The accountants say they can only audit the information they are given. Well if the reconstituted accounts are a true and fair reflection of the FAI then the previous accounts were not. Why?? The accountants are saying they were not given all the relevant information. If this is the case then surely there are people within the FAI guilty of holding back information. Surely this is fraudulent and must have broken the law. If information was not held back and the accountants had all the information then they are at fault. They were well paid for this work.
So somewhere someone, or two or three or whatever are responsible. It is not enough for these people to retire and leave power. Some people have to be held accountable and face the full rigors of the law and if found guilty they must be punished. Not being able to wear their BLAZERS is not enough.
On the same day these accounts were being presented to us there was a kid up in court for stealing a bottle of orange, to the value of €1. What kind of a country are we. It would make you ashamed to be Irish.
There is a deathly silence from all the people who were prepared to laud our great leader when he was on “gardening leave”. Indeed the Clare District League have suspended a player for 6 months for asking “Where are the Delaney Defenders now?” I ask the same question. These “Men of the People” praised the work he did at grass root level, all the chicken dinners he endured while he dispensed OUR largess like a full time Santa.
The grass roots are the very first that are going to suffer for the next 5 years. There will not be enough money to pay for badly needed facilities which allow our sport to grow. Worse still there will not be enough to run the programmes currently in existence. Those who will be affected most will be the weaker sector of our society.
What about the employees of the FAI? Those people who depend on the wages they receive from the FAI, to bring up their own families. The effects of John Delaney’s mismanagement and the sheer scale of his ineptitude will hit Irish football a seismic blow.
The “hard working” Donal has belatedly resigned, and many other of his “hard working” minions should depart stage left immediately. But this will not be enough. We need a new model, not just at the top at board level but all the way down. We do not need to elect more replicas of what we had. There is a huge amount of work to be done to avoid Irish football spiralling downwards.