Kerry speaking on Virgin Media Sport tonight. Twitter/Virgin Media Sport
Uncertain Future

Kerr 'very impressed' by employees' proposal to reform the FAI

The ex-Ireland manager believes saving jobs in the association is ‘crucial’ right now.

BRIAN KERR HAS revealed that a group of FAI employees presented him with a proposal to reform the association in recent days.

There is huge uncertainty about the financial future of Irish football’s governing body after last Friday’s press conference, which laid bare their €55 million debts.  

However, the former Republic of Ireland manager was “very impressed” by the ideas suggested and thinks FAI’s new board and government representatives will be too when they see it.

“In recent days, I’ve met a couple of employees of the association who put a very interesting proposal in front of me for a new reformed style of FAI,” Kerr told Tommy Martin on the Virgin Media Sport panel.

“I think that when the new board comes into play and they get the opportunity to show it to the government and Minister Ross, they should look at it very carefully.

“I was very impressed with what they showed me as a proposal for the future, but, in the short term, their jobs need to be saved. That’s the most crucial thing at the moment.

“There are a lot of very fine people there working on the ground, they’ve had to put up with a lack of direction and mismanagement down through the years.”

The FAI revealed today that they are “unable to accept” an invitation to meet an Oireachtas Committee on Wednesday, and Kerr doesn’t see that as a major issue as there are more pressing matters to attend to right now. 

“I don’t have a problem with them not going to that tomorrow,” he added. 

“I think the remaining directors, Paul Cooke in particular, are obviously working very hard to try to tidy up some of the mess at the moment. 

“It’s an absolutely crucial time — there are 200 employees waiting to hear what their future is. It was mentioned after that press conference last week that there would be consequences for the employees, so they’re dangling. 

I think the mistake they made — and I think communications have been quite poor — is that they put out a tweet on Sunday night saying they would be available to go meet the government and the Oireachtas Committee. 

“They shouldn’t have done that because obviously the work is very intense at the moment. If they’re trying to get something over the line with the banks or an assurance, from Uefa or somebody else, that there will be money to pay the wages of those people coming up to Christmas and the New Year, I think it’s right that they don’t go and waste time on it tomorrow.”

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