CONFIRMED: FAI President says...


CONFIRMED: FAI President says it could be over a decade before they are debt-free

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The FAI President Donal Conway says they will not be debt-free for at least another decade.

The Board of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and Sport Ireland yesterday released their report of the Governance Review Group, at which Conway addressed members of the media alongside Chair of the group Aidan Horan, and Kieran Mulvey, chairperson of Sport Ireland.

A year ago, then FAI Chief Executive John Delaney reaffirmed that the association were in a position to have their Aviva Stadium-related debts cleared by the end of 2020. The Association President Donal Conway however says that is no longer the case.

"It won't be debt-free by 2020, so as part of our financial plan, we will decide on what is the most appropriate term to run out the remaining debt on the stadium. It could be pushed out ten years and further.

"The commitment to pay down the stadium debt by 2020, that commitment does not stand now. That has been discussed and agreed at the board. "

Speaking to Off the Ball's Shane Hannon at Abbotstown yesterday, Conway also said it is in the interests of football in this country that the debt-free deadline is extended significantly.

"It is better for the game that we repay that mortgage on the stadium over a longer term. That means that in any one year, other money is available to support the game - money that we would've used to pay down the debt.

"So, the commitment or sense that we'd be debt free by 2020 - that's not a target, that's not an aim anymore."

Conway also addressed the current financial situation of the FAI.

"We are a lot of the way through devising a new financial plan. One that I  would suggest would be a more stable financial plan - we're doing that in tandem with UEFA. That's not yet complete.

"Let's wait until the financial plan is finalised. We've put an enormous amount of work into that in the past number of weeks and continue to work on it, and we're getting to [the] final stage...within the next two weeks."

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Aidan Horan Aviva Stadium Donal Conway FAI FAI Debt FAI President Football Association Of Ireland John Delaney Shane Hannon

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