March 25 – Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney has stepped aside from the role just 10 days before he was due to appear before a parliamentary committee to be questioned over a €100,000 loan he provided to his federation two years ago.
Instead he has taken on a new position as executive vice-president with Rea Walshe, promoted to the role of chief operation officer a month ago, named interim chief executive.
In his new role, Delaney, a member of UEFA’s executive committee, will have responsibility for all FIFA and UEFA matters.
Delaney has been at the centre of public scrutiny since a Sunday newspaper broke the story that he had loaned €100,000 of his own money to the federation in 2017. News of the transaction emerged after he failed in an attempt to obtain an injunction preventing publication of the story and he subsequently admitted he had made the loan to help the FAI through a “cash-flow” problem.
Delaney has been the FAI’s chief executive since 2005 and reportedly enjoyed a €360,000 annual salary.
“This past fortnight has been very difficult for me on a personal and professional level and I would like to thank the Board and my work colleagues across the FAI for their support,” he said in a statement. “It is time now for a new start and I am really looking forward to serving Irish football as best I can as Executive Vice-President.”
Last week the Irish Government wrote to the FAI to demand clarification on its financial dealings after questions were raised over the circumstances of the loan. The governing body stated that the “bridging loan” was repaid in full to Delaney two months after it was received.
“On behalf of the Board and the members of the Association I want to thank John for everything he has done for the FAI and for Irish football,” FAI President Donal Conway said. “This new role will allow John to utilise his vast experience and connections in the world of football.”
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