File photo of Niall Quinn. Ciaran Culligan/INPHO
New gig

Quinn defers salary and will be paid 'a fraction of what the old gang were' in new FAI role

The Association’s latest recruit has also not put a time-frame on his interim role.

NIALL QUINN SAYS he has deferred the salary that comes with his new role as Interim Deputy CEO of the FAI, and that if or when he does take payment, it will be for a “fraction” of what directors of the previous FAI regime were paid. 

Quinn was today appointed to a role that has not previously existed at the FAI – and was not envisaged amid the massive corporate restructuring adopted by the passing last summer’s governance review report – at a time when rank-and-file staff are worried about their jobs amid the Association’s financial turmoil. 

The FAI need an injection of around €18 million to meet short-term debts, and Chair Roy Barrett is due to propose a funding arrangement to the government, Uefa and principal creditor Bank of Ireland within the next week. 

Amid this uncertainty, Quinn told Virgin Media that he won’t be paid in the immediate future. 

“[FAI interim CEO] Gary [Owens] and I got put back in our box a bit and told we had to be held accountable. “For a fraction of what the old gang, and I mean a fraction of what the old gang were at, it’s there.

“I deferred mine, let’s see how the redundancies work out and let’s see where the association gets to before I take mine.”

An FAI press release described Quinn’s role as a “focus on leading a future League of Ireland strategy, the overall development of the game in Ireland, including supporting grassroots and community initiatives together with our player pathway programmes.”

Quinn didn’t put a time period on his “interim” role, and told Virgin Media that “if in six months time or whenever the interim comes to an end, and the situation is assessed and whether we stay or not, that’s immaterial at this point. 

“Gary and I are both in agreement at this point – in his side of the house, which isa governance and administration – and my side of the house which is the football side, that we are in a much better place with a strategy that can last and can be tapped into and understood by all of the stakeholders.” 

Quinn is part of a self-titled Visionary Group who last year published a blueprint for the future of Irish football, and is now the third member of that group to ascend to a high-profile role with the FAI in recent weeks, along with Roy Barrett and Gary Owens. 

The arrival of all three have been welcomed by sports minister Shane Ross, who has repeatedly called for a clear-out of the old FAI regime. 

Quinn and Owens are due to meet FAI staff on Monday. 

“It’s a difficult time for staff I know”, acknowledged Quinn.

“But I’ll hopefully be meeting up with everybody on Monday and trying to instill a bit more confidence in the system that it’s not as bleak as some of the pictures that were painted and that there is growth pattern there that it is envisaged we can all be part of.

“Right now, it’s still in that stage of not sure where we’re going and they understand a lot is being done to relieve the pain.”

The full interview with Virgin Media can be viewed here. 

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