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FAI Finally Respond To Oireachtas Questions, But Mystery Still Prevails

FAI Finally Respond To Oireachtas Questions, But Mystery Still Prevails
By Aaron Strain

It's been a busy day at the FAI.

Whilst their board has been tied up most of the day at the Carlton Hotel, coming to conclusions on the futures of Michael Cody, Eddie Murray and John Delaney, Interim CEO Rea Walshe has this evening been taking time to give belated responses to some of the questions put to the Association's delegation at last week's meeting with the Oireachtas Committee.

It's taken five and a bit days for the organisation to come back with answers to eight puzzlers that they had difficulty providing clarity to when sat in front of TDs last Wednesday. But tonight, the answers members of the committee sought were made available to them. Well, most of the answers.

Balls.ie has been given access to Ms Walshe's letter where she provides feedback on each of the eight unanswered questions and whilst seven of them provide at least some explanation, the attention of most will understandably be drawn to the failure of the FAI to shed any more light on what was arguably the most head-scratching unanswered question of all.

Who was the creditor that the Association found itself having to pay when they sought Mr Delaney's €100,000 in 2017 and what were their terms?

In response to the query, the FAI have confirmed to the committee that such information is "commercially sensitive".

In addition, Ms Walshe provided simple justification as to why one of the Association's 13 bank accounts were not utilized before receiving the six-figure loan from Mr Delaney. They say that no funds were available over the entirety of their accounts.

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Moreover, it was confirmed that the FAI provides all books and records for audit for each financial year and that the Association is currently in possession of a tax clearance certificate, an indication that "all current and previous tax affairs are in order".

Another query that went unanswered last week concerned an anomaly between the current overdraft situation Irish soccer's governing body finds itself in and the information made available in it's 2016 financial statement.

The explanation, as per tonight's letter, can be found in "amendments to the overdraft facilities" made available to the organisation after a financial restructuring in 2016 that saw the FAI move it's overdraft facility from Danske Bank to the Bank of Ireland, as well as refinancing its outstanding loans with the latter.

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Ms Walshe goes on to give clarification on the account the €100,000 was paid into and why it was not included in Monthly Financial Accounts.

It [the €100,000] was lodged into our deposit account, which is the account the majority of our receipts go into. This is the bank account listed on our invoices. An internal transfer from this account to our main current account, which holds the overdraft facility, was then performed.

The monthly accounts presented to the Board and Finance Committee contain the Profit and Loss account which would be the normal way to assess the up-to-date performance of the business in relation to variances to budget. The €100,000 loan was accounted for in the balance sheet. Balance sheet accounts are reviewed by the finance team on a monthly basis. The transaction did not affect the Profit and Loss account of the Association.

The letter concludes by addressing what comprised the €430,000 found in the Association's financial statements from 2016.

It was confirmed that this "related to the CEO's salary and the honorarium to officers of the Board".

In today's earlier developments, Honourary Secretary Michael Cody, as well as Honourary Treasurer Eddie Murray voluntarily resigned their posts, while former CEO and current Executive Vice President Mr Delaney has said he too will voluntarily step aside pending the results of an investigation.

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The Oireachtas Committee will sit again in the morning where they will meet with members of Sport Ireland who today put forward their intention to carry out their own audit on the FAI as a condition to the Football Association having it's currently suspended state funding restored.

SEE ALSO: John Delaney Offers To Step Aside From FAI Role Pending Investigation

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