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Waterford FC owner latest to release statement in support of John Delaney

Lee Power also warned to ‘be careful for what you wish for’ in his defence of the FAI’s former CEO.

Former FAI CEO John Delaney.
Former FAI CEO John Delaney.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

WATERFORD FC OWNER Lee Power has become the latest affiliate to a League of Ireland club to release a statement in support of the FAI’s embattled Executive Vice-President John Delaney. 

The Waterford owner put on record Delaney’s “involvement and support to Waterford” since Power took over the club three years ago, and ended the statement by saying “be careful for what you wish for.”

Power also incorrectly states that the FAI’s turnover was “€5 million when John Delaney took over.”

When Delaney was appointed interim CEO in 2004, the Association’s turnover was €20.5 million. These figures were announced at the Association’s AGM, held in Waterford. 

Delaney was appointed full-time CEO in March 2005, and the FAI reported a turnover of €23.7 million for that year.

“John’s involvement and support to Waterford has been excellent and it needs to be put on record” said Power, quoted via a statement on the club’s website. 

Also, since taking over his role as Uefa Executive, we are now hosting the Uefa U17 Euros next month, Euro 2020 qualifiers in Dublin, U21 joint bid with Northern Ireland for 2023 and a joint World Cup bid for 2030 with the home nations.

“There is a lot of talk about Government funding, my question is, there should be a lot more investment from Government. How does it compare with other sports in Ireland?

“The FAI has a turnover of €50 million, when John Delaney took over it was €5 million.

“There is an old saying, be careful what you ask for. We need John with a strong voice in Uefa to represent all strands of football in Ireland.” 

Power follows the example of Limerick FC chairman Pat O’Sullivan, who released a statement on Tuesday as he felt “it is an appropriate time to acknowledge the contribution of Mr Delaney to the game over the past number of years.” 

Delaney has been the subject of weeks-long controversy since it was revealed by The Sunday Times on 17 March that he had provided his employers with a personal cheque worth €100,000 in April 2017.

Following an unsuccessful attempt to secure a High Court injunction to prevent the story’s publication, Delaney released a statement prior to the story’s release to explain that the cheque was a “bridging loan” to address a short-term cash flow problem for the FAI. The loan was repaid in full in June 2017. 

A week later, it was confirmed via a statement that Delaney had stood aside as CEO and assumed a new role as Executive Vice-President following the conclusion of an external audit of the FAI’s governance structure. 

At a hearing before a Joint Oireachtas Committee yesterday, Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy refused to confirm he had confidence in the board of the FAI, and said that the FAI’s attempts to explain the circumstances of the loan “falls far short” of what his organisation expect. 

John Delaney will be among an FAI delegation due to sit before the same committee next Wednesday, 10 April. 

Gavan Casey and Ryan Bailey are joined by Bernard Jackman to look back on a thrilling weekend of European rugby on the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Gavin Cooney

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