The FAI owes €62.3m, around half of it related to Lansdowne Road mortgage The FAI owes €62.3m, around half of it related to Lansdowne Road mortgage
Amid the scattergun of figures dished out at the FAI press conference yesterday, some mattered more than others. The FAI owes €62.3m, around half of it related to Lansdowne Road mortgage
Donal Conway: ‘My guilt is not a sin of commission; it is a sin of omission’
New directors should be in FAI boardroom by early 2020

By John Fallon

Amid the scattergun of figures dished out at the FAI press conference yesterday, some mattered more than others.

This had promised to be a day for a big reveal and it didn’t disappoint as three years of accounts came all at once.

John Delaney had liked to glorify the virtues of delivering surpluses in nine of the past 10 years.

Due to a revision of the tots, and a forensic look at his final full year at the helm, three successive years of losses have been incurred.

It must be noted that the accounts reflected transactions up till December 31, 2018 but newly-appointed CEO Paul Cooke had in his possession the latest figures too.

    Here’s a flavour of the current picture:

  • The FAI owes €62.3m, around half of it related to the Lansdowne Road mortgage.
  • Approximtely €20m is attributable to accruals and deferred income.
  • Such was the desperation to ease cashflow that under the Delaney regime, sponsorship deals were frontloaded.
  • For example, around €7m was paid in advance on the latest deal by Aviva for the stadium naming rights.
  • Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is also waiting on his cash. His company Sports Direct made an €6.5m upfront payment for a kit contract which never materialised. The FAI have started repaying the debt in €100,000-per-month instalments.
  • The state authorities are on the list too. Revenue are due to be paid €2.7m arising from audits of four years but the commissioners have yet to agree on that liability.
  • Moves are in train to consolidate the overall debt into a new structure that will trigger repayments for at least another four years to reach break-even status.
  • That mortgage Delaney flagged as being wiped out by 2020 – that’s next month – will now run for another 15 years up to 2034.
  • Returning to the trading losses, the retrospective inclusion of Delaney’s perks was just one reason why the 2016 and 2017 had to be overhauled.
  • Deals between Delaney and two of the former directors, Eddie Murray and Michael Cody, also had to be factored in.
  • That involved two separate contracts agreed in 2014, one of €1m in a loyalty bonus from 2020 and another €2m primarily related to pension payments.
  • A severance payment of €462,000 in full and final settlement was paid to Delaney in September at the end of his five-month gardening leave period.
  • This was mostly comprised of pension entitlements and €60,000 for two months’ notice. There was also a contribution towards his legal costs.
  • Those revisions mean that the surplus of €2.34m in 2016 changed to a deficit of €66,000.
  • The 2017 alteration switched from a €2.8m profit to a loss of €5.6m – a swing of almost €8m.
  • Worse was to follow in the accounting year up to end of 2018. Overall, the FAI posted a deficit in 2018 of €9m.
  • This year is on course to maintain that downward trend.
  • That tally has surpassed the €4m mark already.
  • It shows that Cooke’s assertion of the FAI yesterday reaching rock-bottom is open to opinion.
  • FAI Annual Accounts 2018

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    FAI Revised Annual Accounts 2017

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