Exclusive: John Giles' statement in response to Sunday Times' article about his Foundation


Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

21.27 29 Aug 2019


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John Giles has issued a statement in response to a Sunday Times article about his foundation exclusively to Off The Ball.

The former Ireland and Leeds midfielder joined us on Thursday and addressed the matter.

The initial thrust of The Sunday Times article was thus: "The FAI paid €300,000 to a friend of John Giles for coming up with the “concept” of the John Giles Foundation, its fundraising walks, and a kit-purchasing idea."

Here is his statement in response that he read out on Off The Ball.

John Giles' Statement

"Last weekend, the Sunday Times reported on allegations made about me by Con Martin, the former League of Ireland footballer. I have taken legal advice in relation to these allegations and have taken steps to deal with the false claims made - however I do want to address certain important issues at this time, after which I will not be able to comment until the legal situation is resolved.

"The article tried to link these allegations to the John Giles Foundation - which is a not for profit trust set up in 2008 - not 2011 as the article incorrectly stated.

"Although Mr Martin originally came up with the idea for the Foundation and the Walk of Dreams, he never had an involvement in the Foundation. He was not, as claimed, nominated by me to the Foundation.

"When I was asked, I was happy to put my name to what I believe to be a worthy cause for grassroots football - and I still believe that it is a great cause and a worthwhile project.

"The claim Mr Martin made that he has been running the John Giles golf classic for eight years is also untrue. Mr Martin has never organised or run the golf classic - which in fact has only been run for five years and he had nothing to do with it from the start.

"Although it was stated that I was a pal of Mr Martin, this is not correct. At one stage, I considered him a friend, but I had a serious falling out with him a number of years ago and I have not considered him a friend since then.

"Any arrangements Mr Martin had, or claims to he had, with the FAI, had nothing to do with me or the Foundation. I can only say that for my part, I never agreed or authorised any arrangements or payments of any type to Mr Martin.

"UEFA have confirmed, since the publication of the article, that there never was any payment to the FAI for the charity walk idea, as Con Martin has claimed. The suggestion from Mr Martin that I told him that there was such an arrangement with UEFA is utterly untrue and ludicrous.

"Sadly, this article and the negative publicity based on it will probably have an effect on the Foundation and the raising of money for schoolchildren's football which have ongoing needs for financial help.

"I have been happy to play a part in raising much needed funds for grassroots football and am delighted that we have raised and distributed over €700,000 to clubs throughout the country.

"Despite the recent controversy and difficulties within the FAI, I will still continue to work to raise funds for the Foundation to assist the grassroots over the coming years."


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