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'I don’t get RTÉ back in Bromley' - McCarthy not worried by Delaney/FAI saga

The Irish manager is adamant that the weeks-long controversy in Irish football has no effect on him and his squad.

Mick McCarthy.
Mick McCarthy.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated Apr 24th 2019, 5:00 PM

IRISH MANAGER MICK McCarthy is adamant that the weeks-long controversy engulfing the FAI – which has led to the stepping aside of John Delaney, the imminent stepping down of the current Board at the next FAI AGM in July and the withholding of State funding for only the second time in the Association’s history – has no effect on him or his players. 

“I’m immune to it a little bit because I live in England”, McCarthy told The42 at today’s launch of the SportsDirect FAI Summer Soccer Schools.

“I’ve been kept up to date with it of course, and I’ve read bits and pieces, but it doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t affect the football, it doesn’t affect the players so unless that starts happening I’m not going to give it any credence, to be honest.”

McCarthy replied “absolutely, not at all” when asked if he was confident the controversy wouldn’t affect the squad’s preparations for the remaining Euro 2020 qualifiers. 

“I’ll turn up and we’ll go to [a May training camp in] Portugal, and unless someone tells me we can’t go for financial reasons or we can’t play here [at the Aviva Stadium] because they’ve shut it: who’s going to tell me that?

“I am going to continue to do the job I’ve been employed to do and I’ll continue doing it in the way I do it.” 

Mick McCarthy with John Delaney McCarthy with John Delaney at the SSE Airtricity League launch earlier this year. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

McCarthy didn’t watch the FAI’s much-derided appearance before an Oireachtas Committee on sport last month – “I don’t get RTÉ back in Bromley to be quite honest with you, and I wouldn’t be looking at it anyway” – and in spite of the considerable boardroom upheaval of the last couple of weeks, he remains clear on who he is actually working for. 

“I work for the FAI. There’s not been one boss, there’s been 11 people on the board who were party to my being employed. If one of them leaves, I’m still employed by the FAI Board.

“The Board are still there and operating so I’m being employed by them.”

Although it has since been revealed that the FAI required a €100,000 bridging loan from John Delaney in April 2017 to cover a cash flow issue, and that Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy has since acknowledged that cash flow has been a frequent problem for the FAI, McCarthy isn’t worried about those facts as an employee. 

Not really, no, unless it comes to fruition. I can read all sorts in papers and if I took everything on board I’d have a very different view of it.

“But I don’t, I carry on doing my job.

It was suggested by Minister for Sport Shane Ross that the new FAI Board should include former players, and McCarthy was asked whether Niall Quinn would be a good fit for a role. 

“I don’t know. Quinny was Chairman at Sunderland for a while, so he’s been involved int he administration of football. He’s very bright, he’s a mate of mine. Does that make it the right decision? I’ll leave it to other people.

“Whoever gets it, whether it’s an ex-footballer or anyone else, I’ll support whoever gets it, just like I supported John [Delaney] and whoever else by doing my bit, by coming to things like this and trying to win football matches.” 

As a former player himself, does he envision himself taking a different brief in Irish football?

“The boardroom? Absolutely zero chance.”

Elsewhere, Irish women’s national team manager Colin Bell said he is hopeful all issues are resolved as quickly as possible. 

“All I can say is that I hope things get sorted as quickly as possible. All I can talk about is the women’s game. We are moving forward and I don’t want anything to stop that momentum.” 

First published today at 16.00

Places are still available on Sports Direct FAI Summer Soccer Schools around the country. Book now on www.summersoccerschools.ie

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About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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