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Roy Barrett responds to FAI directors' calls for MoU clarity

FAI chairperson Roy Barrett says he had no hesitation in signing the memorandum of understanding ...



Roy Barrett responds to FAI di...
Soccer

Roy Barrett responds to FAI directors' calls for MoU clarity

FAI chairperson Roy Barrett says he had no hesitation in signing the memorandum of understanding between the association and the government. 

Major reforms are required at the FAI to secure government funding which will ensure its survival. 

Eight current directors of the FAI's board had requested the association's interim CEO Gary Owens to "clarify remarks" he made yesterday.

Owens said that directors had a chance to review the Memorandum of Understanding with the government and signed it before the agreement was reached for a financial rescue package.

The eight directors claim they were "alarmed" by the comments and insist they didn't sign off on the document beforehand.

But Barrett says the Board had accepted that the overriding need was to ensure the financial future.

Barrett has also taken a swipe at Fianna Fail TD Mark MacSharry.

The Sligo-Leitrim representative has been a vocal and repeated critic in how the FAI is progressing its governance reform.

In a statement released by the FAI, Barrett says, "I also note a statement that day from Marc MacSharry TD, welcoming the agreement, calling it a fresh start for the Association and insisting that the conditions of the MoU must be adhered to."

MacSharry's statement is still available on the Fianna Fail website.

Full statement on behalf of FAI Chairperson Roy Barrett:

As chairperson of the Board of the Football Association of Ireland, I wish to highlight a number of facts around the Memorandum of Understanding with the Irish Government which I signed on behalf of the Association on January 30th last.

At a Board meeting of the FAI on January 28th, I updated my fellow directors on discussions with the various stakeholders and they mandated me to reach agreements with the Government, Bank of Ireland and UEFA on a financial package to secure the future of the Association.

Late on the evening of January 29th, I was furnished with a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Ireland and the Football Association of Ireland in respect of the restoration of funding and the provision of additional funding support to the FAI for the period 2020-2023.

On the morning of January 30th, I circulated the Memorandum of Understanding to my fellow Board members. Some expressed discontent with elements of the MoU via email but we had all previously accepted that the overriding need was to ensure the financial future of our Association. I subsequently had no hesitation in signing the MoU on behalf of the Association later that day.

The FAI released two statements (attached), both seen by the full Board, in support of the MoU that afternoon with quotes attributed to our President Gerry McAnaney and myself as chairperson of the Board of the FAI.  Both statements welcomed the announcement of the Memorandum of Understanding by Minister Shane Ross and both the President and I thanked all involved in making the agreement possible. 

I also note a statement that day from Marc MacSharry TD, welcoming the agreement, calling it a fresh start for the Association and insisting that the conditions of the MoU must be adhered to https://www.fiannafail.ie/fai-deal-welcome-as-new-era-can-begin-for-irish-football-mac-sharry/

As we prepare for Friday’s Special Council meeting of the FAI, and for an EGM at the end of the month, it is vital that we don’t lose sight of the perilous financial situation that the Association was in last January and continues to face today. 

At this point it is imperative that we all work together as an Association to guarantee the funding becomes available to protect our game, our staff and football in Ireland. I look forward to discussing the MoU with Council on Friday and with our AGM members at our EGM on August 31st.

Whatever views people may have on the MoU, it has always been the case that the ultimate decision as to whether or not the MoU is agreed to and the funding is released, rests with voting members at the EGM.

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