In an effort to curtail situations such as those that developed at Bray Wanderers and Limerick in recent weeks, the Football Association of Ireland today announced their intention to create a fund that would "assist clubs who are experiencing difficulty in meeting contractual obligations to professional players." According to the FAI's proposal, the fund would be the product of a joint-investment between both the FAI and the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland.
Problematically, it would now appear that the PFAI were not informed of the projected €150,000 they would be required to put into any such fund.
Releasing a statement of their own in response to the FAI, the players association were justifiably surprised that such a proposal was made without any prior consultation:
We are astounded that the FAI have seen fit to announce a proposal which involves the players association funding half of it without having any discussion on the issue beforehand.
Outlining that they have been trying to arrange a meeting with the chief executive of the FAI John Delaney for over a year to no avail, the PFAI revealed; "We have had no meeting of any substance with any senior member of FAI management since the women's international team dispute in April 2017."
Although the Association welcomes the prospect of such a fund in principle, their statement outlines the sporadic nature of the FAI's proposal:
Furthermore, SIPTU have had no discussions with the FAI about this proposal. At the FAI’s request a meeting was scheduled for today with Fran Gavin and Rea Walshe to discuss improving the relationship between both associations and to discuss the recent issues related to players salaries and potential solutions to ensure these issues do not arise again.
This meeting was cancelled by the FAI for reasons unknown and rescheduled for this Friday.
Describing the FAI's suggestion that the PFAI, an "organisation [that] has a tiny fraction of [the FAI's] size and turnover," should contribute half of the proposed €300,000 as "mind boggling," they similarly queried why, given that the fund is less than the annual wage of the FAI's CEO, the FAI could not finance this project independently.