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Ireland A radical plan to split the FAI is to be put to the government

15:20  12 december  2019
15:20  12 december  2019 Source:   extra.ie

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Shane Ross, Peter Driscoll are posing for a picture © Provided by Extra.ie A new proposal that would see the FAI split into two separate entities is all set to be put forward to the government.

The association has had a torrid 2019 and last week they revealed the scale of their mounting debts as well as the details surrounding the exit of former CEO John Delaney.

Sport Ireland continues to withhold the FAI’s state funding, a move which could have negative side effects on football at the local level.

a man wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: An FAI split has come about in part to the lack of state funding currently available. Pic: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile © Provided by Extra.ie An FAI split has come about in part to the lack of state funding currently available. Pic: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

As a result, FAI staff members are proposing that the state would fund an entirely new football body that would only govern grassroots as well as community football.

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The FAI would continue to exist, but instead of its current size, it would instead look after only the international teams and elite football.

This plan intends for the government to provide €10 million every year — a significant increase on the current €3m provided by the state on football — to fund coaches and development officers at grassroots level.

a group of young men playing a game of football: A split in the FAI would leave international football to the old organisation. Pic: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland A split in the FAI would leave international football to the old organisation. Pic: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Meanwhile, the FAI would fund its own activities through commercial deals.

The FAI currently have 60 regional development officers in place, though a number of jobs in the association are currently at risk due to the ongoing financial crisis.

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Speaking on Morning Ireland, Minister Shane Ross says the government would consider the idea.

a man wearing a suit and tie: FAI President Donal Conway and executive lead Paul Cooke during an FAI Press Conference at FAI HQ in Abbotstown. Pic: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile © Provided by Extra.ie FAI President Donal Conway and executive lead Paul Cooke during an FAI Press Conference at FAI HQ in Abbotstown. Pic: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Our interest is in football,’ he said. ‘I think any constructive ideas which come forward, and I think this is constructive, full of good people like Brian Kerr and Niall Quinn who are suggesting it, we’ll look at any suggestion that comes through.’

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State considers buying FAI’s stake in the Aviva Stadium .
The Government taking over the FAI’s stake in the Aviva Stadium has emerged as the most likely short-term solution to the troubled association’s cash crisis. Officials from the Department of Sport will today meet the IRFU to discuss what the FAI’s grave financial position means for the status of the venue jointly owned by the two associations. The FAI owes €29m on the Aviva as part of overall liabilities which exceed €60m.

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