FAI CRISIS: John Delaney, the TV star, the €3k-a-month Wicklow home and the local football teams with no facilities
A €1m house in Kilmacanogue owned by TV star Grainne Seoige which was subject to repossession proceedings by KBC Bank in 2015 is at the centre of the scandal that has brought the FAI to its knees.
The plush pad was being rented by the FAI for €3000 per month for its ex-CEO John Delaney before he stepped down from his €360,000-a-year job in March of this year.
Since then a litany of stories and bad news have emerged from the FAI, culminating in last week’s publication of its accounts which showed Delaney was given a €460k payoff and the association is €55m in debt.
Reports also suggest that the Criminal Assets Bureau are investigating the matter while employees in the FAI losing their jobs in an effort to save the embattled organisation.
The rental property in Kilmacanogue, which Seoige shared with her ex-husband Stephen Cullinane, is located just minutes from local football clubs Ardmore Rovers and Enniskerry FC who cater for more than a thousand children every week but have no clubhouses or home grounds.
“Schoolboy football clubs for decades have been surviving on the goodwill of volunteers, putting hundreds of unpaid hours into the coaching and mentorship of young footballers every year,” Ardmore Rovers Chairman Ciaran O’Connor told WicklowNow.ie.
“These latest revelations don’t even register for most of us at this level as we have never seen any investment from the top of the game here in Ireland.
“While the FAI are happy for schoolboy clubs to create their future internationals, their investment in grassroots has been pathetic, despite what John Delaney used to claim.
“We will continue our valuable work and I believe clubs like us should have a say in the type of organisation who will lead the sport into the future.”
It has subsequently emerged that Delaney has snapped up a five-bedroom house for €868k located 3km outside Aughrim, 50km south of Kilmac.
“It is disgraceful,” a parent of two Ardmore Rovers players, who did not wish to be named, told WicklowNow.ie.
“My two children have to get changed on the side of public playing pitches while the club struggles to raise the money it needs to find a home.
“I brought them to a recent Ireland international match during the week and it cost €95 for the tickets and €15 for chips and now I know where the money went to.”
Tomorrow on WicklowNow.ie: Inside John Delaney’s €868k Aughrim home