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John Delaney tells close friend that he will be stepping down from FAI role

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 13/04/2019 Emma McMenamy & Cormac Byrne
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John Delaney has told a close friend that he will be step down from his role with the FAI.

Kerry District League Secretary John O’Regan told the Irish Sunday Mirror that he received a text message from the former FAI chief saying that he was quitting.

He said: "John sent me a text message at about 5:30pm this evening [Saturday] saying that he is stepping down.

"To be honest I'm disappointed and a little annoyed.

Dublin , Ireland - 10 April 2019;  Attending a meeting with the Oireachtas Committee on Sport at Dáil Éireann in Dublin are from left, FAI President Donal Conway, FAI Executive Vice President John Delaney and Fran Gavin, FAI Director of Competitions. (Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images) © SPORTSFILE Dublin , Ireland - 10 April 2019; Attending a meeting with the Oireachtas Committee on Sport at Dáil Éireann in Dublin are from left, FAI President Donal Conway, FAI Executive Vice President John Delaney and Fran Gavin, FAI Director of Competitions. (Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

"He made a bridging loan of €100,000 and paid it back soon after - I don't know what he did wrong to be honest.

"At the end of the day he's only human - John's a good friend of mine."

The FAI has not commented on Mr O'Regan's claim and said no official statement would be issued on Saturday night.

As of tonight, John Delaney is still the Executive Vice-President of the Association.

Chief Executive of the Football Association of Ireland John Delaney in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group D match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Chief Executive of the Football Association of Ireland John Delaney in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group D match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)

Speculation mounted throughout Saturday that the 51-year-old was about to step down.

Delaney came under fire from the Taoiseach on Friday over the €100,000 loan to the association.

This followed his failure to answer questions about the money he lent when he appeared before the Oireachtas sports committee on Wednesday.

It was reported there was a high-level board meeting at FAI HQ at Abbotstown in west Dublin on Saturday – however the Sunday Mirror has learned there was just one member there.

a group of people posing for the camera: FAI executive vice-president John Delaney arrives © INPHO/Laszlo Geczo FAI executive vice-president John Delaney arrives

The FAI has had half of its €2.7million funding from Sport Ireland suspended in the wake of the storm.

Sponsors Three and New Balance called on the FAI this week to implement all recommendations from the Grant Thornton and Mazars reviews.

In a statement Three said: “Corporate governance is of utmost importance at Three and we expect the same from all partners we work with.”

A New Balance spokesman said: “We note with interest the FAI has commissioned various reports to review recent financial and corporate governance matters and we urge it to implement all recommendations.”

Sponsor SSE Airtricity said it is monitoring developments while Bus Eireann will continue to review its association.

Meanwhile, it emerged Sinn Fein TD and former Cork City chairman Jonathan O’Brien was ejected from Turner’s Cross on Friday following a protest against the FAI during the Cork City versus St Patrick’s Athletic match.

The politician was escorted out of the ground by gardai but was later allowed to return.

Cork fans held up a protest banner against Mr Delaney, inset, in a stand named after his father Joe.

The club released a statement yesterday saying they were to review event control.

There were also protests at matches in Sligo, Dublin and Donegal on Friday night.

MORE ON FAI CRISIS:

Dundalk faced delays after writing to John Delaney seeking their €300k (Independent.ie)

Brian Kerr and Niall Quinn slam FAI for 'large doses of spoofology' (Extra.ie)

If the FAI want to treat the public with contempt, it should be reciprocated (Independent.ie)

John Delaney's long day at Leinster House (The Journal)

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