FAI cuts debt by €13m, despite revenue drop

November 20 – The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) have reduced their debts and loans from €63.5 million to €50.8 million in 2022, but fell short on generating commercial revenue and hence remained dependent on state funding. 

With the legacy of the disastrous John Delaney era that nearly bankrupted the association, the FAI has laboured under huge debts in the past couple of years, but the financial accounts of 2022 show that those debts are now at just over €50 million, a reduction of just under €13 million.

“Our debt reduced to €50.9 million at the end of 2022. Naturally, we are committed to paying this debt down in a measured and sustainable way and when our cash situation allows but we are now in a position where we can manage our finances and balance the ongoing investment needs of the Association accordingly,” the annual financial report said.

“It is a real positive that the association’s finances continue to move in the right direction, with a surplus again this year of €3.5 million. We’ve made strong progress towards our longer-term financial position where we continue to reduce and tackle our legacy debts,” said the FAI CEO Jonathan Hill.

The report revealed that the FAI received €9.9 million in state support during the Covid-19 period. In total, €22.3 million came from state funds and grants. State funding was suspended after it emerged that chief executive Jonathan Hill had received excessive payments in breach of the MoU the FAI and the government had signed. Hill had to repay €20,000.

The FAI also remains embarrassed by the fact that the men’s national team still does not have a headline sponsor. The women’s national team, who debuted at the World Cup last summer, do.

The FAI recognised that they need to provide better facilities to meet demand. The report read: “We are already struggling to meet the demands of the existing population let alone the increased need as a result of the explosion in the Women’s and Girl’s game coupled with the wider population growth. At League of Ireland level, we can all see first-hand that our stadia are not fit for purpose and our academy infrastructure is becoming increasingly important post-Brexit as we retain our most promising future talent for longer.”

Commercial revenue dropped by a million euros. It was the fourth year in a row that the FAI’s sponsorship income decreased, having been €8 million in 2018, €7.6 million in 2019, €5.8 million in 2020, and €5.6 million in 2021. In 2022, it was €4.6 million. The association’s overall turnover was €54 million.

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