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'We are again sitting in a fog of nonsense' | Sunday Paper Review on Delaney's exit

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

06:49 29 Sep 2019


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Late on Saturday night, the Football Association of Ireland [FAI] announced their embattled Executive Vice-President John Delaney had agreed to resign from the organisation.

As a number of investigations looking into the FAI and its management during Delaney's reign reach their conclusion, the statement announcing the former CEO's departure was released after 11:15pm on Saturday night.

The statement noted that Delaney would be leaving the organisation with "notice and pension obligations as agreed between the parties".

While the news broke so late into the night that it bypassed nearly all of the Sunday papers, the Sunday Paper Review discussed Delaney's exit, the journalism that crafted it and also some of the online pieces that have been written since his departure was announced.

Joining Joe Molloy was incoming-editor of TheJournal.ie, Sinéad O'Carroll and former Group Head of Sport at RTÉ, Ryle Nugent.

Discussing the timing of the FAI's statement, Nugent bemoaned how the organisation appeared to still be making announcements at times it thought could dodge media attention.

"Releasing that at quarter past 11 last night is beyond my comprehension", Nugent said.

When it was noted by Molloy that news like this that raises so many questions deserved a press conference, Nugent passionately agreed.

"This, you're kidding me. Without a shadow of a doubt, it does. And at that press conference, [the FAI can] sit and say listen there are some things here we can't talk about because there is a legal issue and they are not conversations they can have in the public domain.

"We are sitting here again in this fog of nonsense. And it feels like again this is being orchestrated to land while all that rugby stuff is going on over there and the newspapers and Mark Tighe and the Sunday Times are going to be over here, and we'll put it in a place where we think it will have the least impact.

"I may be deeply unfair in thinking that but that's what it feels like."

O'Carroll also pointed out a line in Daniel McDonnell's piece on Independent.ie, that mentioned it was understood Delaney had wanted a longer departure statement that was fuller on his achievements as FAI CEO.

"I think even in the dying minutes of his negotiation there was still a wish to be seen as an extremely successful CEO of the organisation," O'Carroll said of the piece.

"Even with all the different things that have been pointed out particularly the ones around Aviva Stadium [ticket packages] shambles, which Daniel McDonnell said is a shambles that would "put most CEO's of an organisation on a sticky wicket".

The Paper Review also reflected on the effect the FAI's troubles have had on its staff, with Nugent describing what some have gone through as "absolutely brutal."

"It's a full-stop this press release on the end of the John Delaney era, but there are more paragraphs to be written," Nugent concluded.

You can watch the full Sunday Paper Review on our YouTube and the FAI part of the panel at the top of this article.

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


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