Football

Brian Kerr Calls For Protection Of Vital Grassroot Staff Member At FAI

Brian Kerr Calls For Protection Of Vital Grassroot Staff Member At FAI

As the fallout continues over the publishing of the FAI accounts and questions are raised about the long-term future of football in Ireland, the more immediate concern has to be around keeping football in this country afloat.

Jobs are under threat, with those at the lower end of the FAI in jeopardy due to the failings of those at the top. It is a dire situation, one which needs immediate attention.

Speaking on Virgin Media Sport this evening, Brian Kerr said every effort needs to be made to ensure football keeps running smoothly in Ireland while longer term changes are made.

Football has to continue, matches have to continue to be played, people have to organise them, referees will be in place, people will be coaching teams. There is training all around the country as we speak and later on tonight...

In the short-term, their jobs need to be saved. I think that's the most crucial thing at the moment. There are a lot of very fine people there working on the ground who have had to put up with a lack of direction and mismanagement over the past few years.

They have gone on from March until now working on the ground, helping out clubs, developing coaches, putting on coaching courses, doing the work that needs to be done at grassroots level that needs to continue.

They are the jobs at risk and they need to be saved. The work that they do in the communities is vital.

Everybody has somebody that plays football, who's kid plays football, girls and boys. They know the work the volunteers do, but also the work these people do in supporting that.

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Where do we go from here? It seems the old regime needs to completely removed from the organisation, even if it will take some time to right the wrongs of the past decade.

Kerr thinks that we should not forget what has happened, and must ensure that no one individual can be given such a stranglehold on the FAI again.

I don't think we can draw a line under it. We can draw a ling under some of it, some of the accounts stuff, but that will drift on for a while.

But we can't say it didn't happen. There's going to have to be questions asked, who was responsible, how did they let it happen, and ensure that there are is proper reform to ensure it can't happen again.

One person captured the board, that cannot happen again in the future.

We've got to look at the now and do everything we can to support the people who are trying to fix it, ensure those jobs are saved and that the game can continue.

When we get to March, maybe the senior team can beat Slovakia, then beat the winners of Bosnia and Northern Ireland, get to the Euros and look to a brighter future for the game in this country.

But under a new regime, in a reformed style and different type of departmental organisation in the FAI for the future.

SEE ALSO: Reports: Euro 2020 Qualification Will Decide Jobs For Some FAI Staff

Gary Connaughton

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