Reassurances given over FAI staff, says trade union

A trade union representing Football Association of Ireland workers says it has received reassurances from the minister for sport.

The FAI is at risk of insolvency and has previously asked the Irish Government for a guarantee of 18 million euro (£15 million).

While Shane Ross earlier this week said the Government will not bail the FAI out, the minister described a meeting with Uefa over the situation on Tuesday as “constructive”, adding he believes they are on a “pathway to a possible solution”.

The trade union Siptu met Mr Ross on Wednesday. “We are reasonably satisfied with the outcome of the meeting,” Siptu sector organiser, Denis Hynes, said.

“The discussions were positive, and reassurance was given to us that all the stakeholders, including the banks, Uefa and the Government, are committed to protecting the association.

“While it is going to be a long road and our members in the FAI will be facing some difficulties and further negotiations with their employer, we believe progress has been made in protecting jobs and football in the community.”

Siptu services organiser Teresa Hannick added: “Salaries will be paid in January for the staff and we are optimistic that a resolution can be found to this crisis which will protect our members and football in Ireland into the future.”

Earlier a Government delegation met senior Bank of Ireland officials to discuss the FAI’s ongoing financial problems.

Government funding for the FAI has been suspended after it emerged that former chief executive John Delaney gave a 100,000 euro loan to the association in 2017.

It was disclosed in December that the FAI faces debts of up to 62 million euro (£53 million).

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