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FAI president Donal Conway provides new details on John Delaney's €100,000 loan

Conway delivered the FAI’s opening statement to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport.

FAI President Donal Conway: details on €100,000 loan.
FAI President Donal Conway: details on €100,000 loan.

FAI PRESIDENT DONAL Conway has provided fresh details on the €100,000 loan which John Delaney provided to the Association in 2017, reiterating that the “unusual situation” arose because of a cashflow issue.

As part of his opening statement to today’s hearing of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Conway revealed that no contract existed between Delaney and the Association in respect of the loan, and that no interest or charges were levied or paid.

Conway initially described his statement as “Grant Thornton’s view” of the loan, referencing the financial services firm who have been reviewing the FAI’s accounts since last week.

But when later pressed by committee chair Fergus O’Dowd to clarify the provenance of the statement, Conway explained that his comments had been “verified by Grant Thornton” but that their full report is not available to the committee at this time.

An additional statement from Donal Conway, President of the Football Association of Ireland, Joint Oireachtas Committee, 10 April 2019:

At an internal finance meeting held on 25 April 2017 with members of the finance team and the then chief executive officer, the cashflow position of the Association identified a possible cashflow issue at that time.

Acknowledging that the Association’s revenues operate in a cyclical fashion, this was an unusual situation and was not repeated in 2018.

The Association’s position on 25 April 2017 was that if all cheques issued in the week ending 28 April 2017 were cashed/presented at the same time, there was a likelihood of insufficient funds being available to cover all cheques issued, i.e if all cheques issued were presented to the bank.

This was, however, a short-term issue as there was a legitimate expectation of funds coming to the Association in the short term arising from various income streams that would include ticket sales, sponsorship, grant funding and other sources.

The CEO provided the Association with a personal cheque for €100,000 and thereby made funds available to provide some immediate financial relief and for the said funds to be used in a context where such additional funding be required by the Association.

The following day, Wednesday 26 April 2017, a request was received by email from one particular creditor who was entitled to draw down funds from the Association for just such a drawdown.

The financial director made contact with the chief executive officer via email proposing to lodge the cheque for €100,000 to the Association’s bank account in order to honour the request for drawdown from the particular creditor.

This request was acknowledged by the chief executive officer and payment was made to the particular creditor.

The board acknowledged that the circumstances of the above €100,000 transaction was exceptional and the repayment was subsequently made by the Association on 16 June 2017 to the then chief executive officer.

No contract or agreement was entered into between the Association and its then chief executive officer, and further, no interest and/or charges have been levied or paid by the Association in respect of the transaction.

The Board, having been informed of the €100,000 payment, further acknowledge that disclosure would be made in the necessary financial statements in accordance with the required accounting treatment and requirements of the Companies Act.

The Association has since embarked on a review of its internal control processes and procedures in order to ensure that a situation of this nature could not arise again.

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Niall Kelly

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