"One big relationship that has to be mended" | Niall Quinn's reaction to FAI Accounts revelations


Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

18.15 6 Dec 2019


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Ex-Ireland international Niall Quinn feels the relationship between Irish football and the government is the most important gap to bridge.

He joined Off The Ball to discuss Friday's revelations about the FAI's financial state.

"It's hard to take, although Paul Cooke had set the scene for us," he said.

"So it's not a drop-dead shock. We were expecting it and it's still very tough though when it comes out. And you scratch your head and wonder how did it get to that."

Quinn also added that fundamental changes need to be made.

"I'm sure there will be a lot of fallout. The broom has to come now and clear out anybody associated with that performance," he said.

"But I do believe it's about looking forward and given the grave state of finances and even the culture of the game now in the country given what's happened, I think there's one big relationship that has to be mended and mended as fast as we can.

Darkest Hour

"That would be football in this country's relationship with the government and how somehow is it possible to get the trust from government to come in and help the game in its darkest hour, in a time when there's never been a need like it.

"I've been saying for many months now that the importance of football in this country is not reflected in the monetary system it is given by government."

He also called for a "root and branch change" and "not what the government review group threw at us there where four volunteers will come in and change everything".

He also feels the Irish government can step in to alleviate another issue. That is the immediate impact on the rank-and-file staff and volunteers at the FAI.

"It would be great if the government can put real stability in place by saying that they would support a period of time whereby no redundancies would be made and people could feel safe, particularly coming into Christmas," said Quinn.

He also hopes today becomes a "marker of our last day of shame".

"I believe [the Association] should be re-branded," he said, highlighting the example of the old Olympic Council.

You can watch the full chat with Niall Quinn on our YouTube channel. We also spoke to UCC lecturer Robbie Butler about the numbers which you can watch above.


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Debt FAI Football Government Ireland Niall Quinn Off The Ball Paul Cooke

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