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Final FAI Old Regime Member Declares He Would Step Down To Ensure Funding

Final FAI Old Regime Member Declares He Would Step Down To Ensure Funding
By Maurice Brosnan
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The SFAI’s John Earley has said he would step down from the FAI Board if it was a necessary measure to secure the reintroduction of state funding.

Minister for Sport Shane Ross has repeatedly stressed his desire for new leadership at the head of the association. With the news confirmed on Friday that President Donal Conway will step down in January, that makes Earley the final figure from the old regime.

Earley joined the board in 2017 before resigning in June 2019. He then was reelected in July.

On Friday he was present as the FAI presented accounts for 2018 and revised accounts for the two years previous. Amidst these figures, it emerged the reported 2016 profit of €2.3 million was actually €66,000. 2017's profit of €2.8 million became a loss of €2.9 million and there was a loss of €8.9 million for last year.

When asked about his association with the previous regime and whether he was considering his position, Earley insisted he would see out his current one-year term.


"I stepped down from the previous board over issues regarding schoolboy football," he declared. "I was (on the previous board), but when there were issues, I stepped down."

He went on to add he did seek guidance.


"There were advisors there with regards to legal advice, financial advice. I took that advice. I wasn't aware the people who were giving me the advice were economical with the truth at the time."

"I did ask some serious questions," he offered, but did not divulge the answers.

Over the course of the afternoon, Donal Conway and Executive Lead Paul Cooke repeatedly stated their ambition to move on from the past and into the future. "Hopefully we can draw a line and move on," Cooke optimistically offered.


The ambition is to move on to a time when state funding would be reinstated, but Earley's presence may complicate that. In that scenario, he suggested he would step down.

"I strongly believe we live in a democracy. If you are elected by your peers to represent an organisation, you do that. But if it put the association in any jeopardy, I would."

SEE ALSO: FAI Accounts Reveal John Delaney Received Severance Package Of €462,000

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