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FAI issues apology over financial crisis

The Football Association of Ireland has issued an apology to "all levels of the game" for the ong...

FAI issues apology over financ...

FAI issues apology over financial crisis

The Football Association of Ireland has issued an apology to "all levels of the game" for the ongoing financial turmoil that's occurring within Irish football.

The association's AGM reconvened at CityWest Hotel, Dublin on Sunday and following it the apology was issued to all "stakeholders" of the game in Ireland.

At the reconvened meeting, delegates were given details of the restated accounts for 2017 and the financial statements for 2018.

Speaking at the meeting, outgoing President Donal Conway was pointed in his criticism of Minister for Sport Shane Ross as he spoke about the financial woes the game finds itself in.

"The minister hasn't hidden his view" according to Conway.

"There is a distinction drawn all the time between the old guard and the new guard. Clearly I'm marked as old guard.

"If I'm old guard as I have been clearly identified and I move aside, it can only be helpful."

When asked how much responsibility he can bear as a board member, Conway said:

"I was part of a board for many years that has to bear responsibility. It has to bear collective responsibility for not doing better.

"We have talked about our approved financial statements today, the picture is bleak, I would accept.

"It's not some wild optimism but I think it's fixable. I think there are solutions, we have been working very hard at and for solutions.

Conway then laid out what he thought was fixable.

"Manage the stadium debt on our prime asset as a proper long-term mortgage. Then address the other elements of debt separate from that.

"It's a very very challenging place. I really regret the association is in this challenging position.

"It's all very well calling it the association but it impacts sport, it impacts my sport in particular which is football.

"And it impacts all the agents in the game, from players right through parents, referees, clubs leagues, staff in the FAI.

"It is regrettable that this is what they face in the latter end of 2019.

Conway then attempted to bring some positivity to the room.

"In the room today there were a lot of people saying ok, we have to get on with it. we have to move forward, this is fixable, there are solutions."

Conway then agreed to offer the apology and said that the crisis as a whole was "a matter of huge regret".

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AGM Donal Conway FAI Shane Ross