While a move into the FAI had long been mooted for Niall Quinn, the news that he had been appointed as interim deputy CEO of the association came as somewhat of a shock this afternoon.
The former Irish striker will step into the role to assist interim CEO Gary Owens, where Quinn will oversee the progress of the League of Ireland and development of the game in general in Ireland.
Speaking on Virgin Media this evening, Quinn confirmed it is likely he will only be in the role on a temporary basis. He also hinted that a deal between a monetary package was on the way to the FAI, easing any fears about its immediate future.
#WATCH Exclusive: Niall Quinn to take up key role with the FAI
He tells #VMNews he’s confident the association’s debt crisis can be resolved & says his salary will be a “fraction” of what was previously paid by the FAI@nathanielcope | #VMSport | @VMSportIE pic.twitter.com/SvAgKwNT2h
— Virgin Media News (@VirginMediaNews) January 23, 2020
I've stepped over the line because I think it will be good, and will be good enough. That's not because I know any of the figures involved. I don't know where it will end up when it finally is announced. I hope it's announced very soon.
I'm led to believe that there is an assistance from the three stakeholders, the banks, UEFA, and the government, that will allow the game to move forward.
If some sort of financial assistance can be organised to guarantee the FAI can carry on, the next focus will on retaining the jobs of those who work for the association.
A number of jobs are likely still in jeopardy. Quinn offered to not take a salary for his new position, but was informed he would have to in order to have some sort of accountability for what takes place during his time in the role.
He will meet with staff members in the coming days, admitting he will not take a penny from the FAI until the future of those workers is sorted out:
It's a difficult time for staff, I know, but I'll be meeting up with everybody on Monday and trying to instil a bit more confidence in the system. That it's not as bleak as some of the pictures that have been painted, and there is a growth pattern there envisaged for us all to be part of.
Right now it's still in that stage of not knowing where we're going, but we'd ask that they understand a lot of things have been done to ease the pain...
Gary [Owens] and I were put back into our box a little bit were told we had to be held accountable, so for what a fraction of the old gang were earning, and I mean a fraction of what the old gang were at, it is there.
I've deferred mine. Let's see how the redundancies work out and let's see where the association gets to before I take mine.