FAI Apologises To Soccer Fans...

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FAI Apologises To Soccer Fans For "Mistakes Of The Past"

Ben Finnegan
Ben Finnegan

7:37 PM - 29 Dec 2019



The FAI has apologised to football fans across the country for "mistakes of the past", while, Sport Minister Shane Ross has said liquidating the association is not a viable option for the Government.

The board of the association has given an apology to the hundreds of thousands of people involved in soccer from grassroots level for the issues that have emerged in the past few months.

 

It's AGM was held this afternoon at the CityWest Hotel in Dublin - where delegates from around the country were given financial statements.

In a statment, the FAI said:

"The Board of the Football Association of Ireland has tonight issued an apology to the hundreds of thousands involved with Irish football at all levels of the game, to the Irish public and to FAI staff.

The apology was made following the reconvened AGM of the FAI at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin where delegates were presented with the financial statements for 2018.

President Donal Conway said: “The clear message from our delegates today is that Irish football wants to move forward and we apologise to all our stakeholders for the mistakes of the past.”"

The FAI has current net liabilites of over €60 million, as well as losses expected to reach up to €4 million for 2019 alone.

"I really regret the association is in this challenging position," said the FAI's President Donal Conway.

"It's all very well calling it the association but it impacts sport and it impacts all the agents in the game, from players right through parents, referees, clubs, leagues staff in the FAI."

The FAI's Executive Lead Paul Cook had said that liquidation is a possibility, if its debts be sought immediately.

However, Sport Minister Shane Ross has said it isn't a viable option and is looking for a solution - which includes speeding up reform.

In a statement following the apology, Minister Ross said:

"In response to the events at the reconvened FAI AGM today I wish to state that the government does not see either liquidation or examinership as a viable option for the Association or for Irish Football. Over the Christmas period Minister Brendan Griffin and I have been moving with other stakeholders to find a solution to the crisis that includes an acceleration in the pace of reform, the future of government funding, above all, a more secure outlook for FAI staff and certainty that grassroots football does not suffer. 

A radical change in the FAI culture is essential to underpin other reforms. The long-awaited appointment of an independent chair and three other independent directors, expected in the very near future, should provide the necessary impetus for a new confidence in the  reform  process. 

In early January Minister Griffin and I expect to meet UEFA, representatives  of all League of Ireland clubs, spokespeople for the trades unions, directors of the FAI  and other stakeholders in pursuit of a solution that avoids liquidation or examinership but secures the future of Irish football."



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AGM FAI Shane Ross Sport Minister

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