Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.35 15 May 2019


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The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has disputed claims by SIPTU that the association is in "an extremely precarious financial situation".

The trade union is seeking an urgent meeting with Sports Minister Shane Ross over finances at the FAI.

SIPTU has said it wants to discuss "the threat to jobs in the FAI due to the precarious financial situation of the organisation."

It comes as the entire FAI board is to step down later this summer.

Last month, Minister Ross told the Oireachtas Sports Committee that the FAI had written to him to indicate that "decisive action" was being taken "as a result of the ongoing pressure" the association has faced.

SIPTU's sport sector organiser is Denis Hynes.

He said earlier: "We have received information that the FAI is in an extremely precarious financial situation with a threat of the organisation becoming insolvent in only a matter of weeks.

"This has caused great concern to our members who are employed by the FAI.

"While we fully understand that under FIFA rules the Government does not have a role in the running of the organisation we believe that with up to 200 jobs at risk the situation is one that requires the direct attention of the Minister Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross."

He added: "We are seeking an urgent meeting with the minister to directly inform him of our concerns and discuss any possible intervention that can be made to alleviate this critical situation."

'No threat to operations'

In response, the FAI board said it was "shocked and disappointed" by SIPTU's statement and their "unfounded claims" regarding the FAI's financial situation.

The FAI went on to claim that there was "a positive meeting" of the FAI Council on Wednesday afternoon.

It said FAI President Donal Conway outlined how the association had recently engaged with UEFA, when assurances were given regarding their support for the association.

President Conway said: "As I outlined to our council meeting today, we recently met with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin and Director of National Associations Zoran Lakovic.

"At that meeting in Nyon, they assured us of the full support of UEFA for the FAI as we go through our current processes.

"UEFA's support will ensure the continued viability of the Football Association of Ireland and there is no threat to FAI operations or to FAI staff", he added.

SIPTU represents staff employed as development officers, coaches and in the administration of the FAI - as well as players through its affiliation with the PFAI.

 


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