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Football | Government to double FAI funding

The FAI have agreed a financial rescue package worth almost €20 million with the Irish government, Bank of Ireland and UEFA.

Sport Ireland funding, which was suspended in April following the revelations regarding the FAI's financial misdemeanours, will double from €2.9m to €5.8m a year until 2023.

The government will also provide the beleaguered FAI with an annual interest-free €2.5 million loan for the next three years to help the organization with the costs of the Aviva Stadium, which will be repayable from 2024.

Bank of Ireland are set to be announced as the FAI's new major sponsors, while UEFA's contribution to the package has not been disclosed.

€800,000 of that will go towards the development of the men's and women’s domestic leagues.

According to The Irish Times, government support for the FAI between now and 2023 will come to €30,833,800.

Minister for Sport Shane Ross has described the financial package, which he insists is not a "bailout", is the marking of a new dawn for Irish football.

Confirmation of the financial aid is welcome news for the organization's employees, and interim FAI CEO Gary Owens says he's confident there will be few, if any, redundancies.

"I can never say there is never going to be redundancies”, he told reporters.

"But today I’m very confident there will be very few, if any, in relation to what we’re doing.”

Interim Deputy CEO Niall Quinn also hailed the move, and says the League of Ireland will receive far better treatment in the future.

”You will see a new association with a new culture and a love from people who had to put up with so much in the last year. We start to move forward today.

“Football in this country can now really rise, with the League of Ireland becoming more prominent and getting treated much better than in the past.”

It is believed that the financial package comes with strict conditions.

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