John Delaney has stepped down from his role as FAI Chief Executive, moving into a new position within the Association it has been confirmed this evening. Delaney had been at the centre of intense media attention over the past seven days, with a €100,000 short-term loan he gave to the FAI in 2017 the topic of conversation.
Before Ireland's game against Gibraltar earlier this evening, rumours had begun to swirl that Delaney was about to step down from his role. That would be confirmed soon after the disappointing 1-0 win, when it was also announced he would occupy a new position of Executive Vice-President with immediate effect.
Speaking on Virgin Media Sport after the announcement, former Ireland manager Brian Kerr said that the the former Chief Executive "had a vice iron grip on the association" during his time in the role:
"He's had a vice-like grip on the association since he's been in it."
"The AGM's have been a farce."
"It can't be coincidence that that came to the fore last Sunday and 6 days later we're talking about a change of position."
Brian Kerr on John Delaney.#VMSport pic.twitter.com/uQexiGytkK
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 23, 2019
It's a dramatic day if he's gone from the role of CEO, because he's had a vice iron grip on the association since he's been in it. He's made some massive decisions, and the association has lost some great people over the years who were not replace by people of the same quality.
This is a very dramatic day. He's done some good things, I don't know whether he is going to be able to influence any more good things.
You have to remember that he was the main mover in the appointment of Mick McCarthy, in what I though was a fairly ludicrous one in that he told Mick he only had the job for a set amount of time and he was going to be replaced by Stephen Kenny.
There's been a lot of bad feeling about the lack of transparency in the association for years, and I've been critical of it because the AGMs have been a farce. The lack of information, the lack of the ability of people to ask questions at the AGM on the organisation that they're the players in has been extraordinary.
How that has been controlled has been ridiculous in my view...
It can't be coincidence that that (€100,ooo loan to the FAI) came to the fore last Sunday, and here six days later we are talking about a change in position of the most powerful man in Irish football until today.