Derry City Chairman 'embarrassed' about FAI crisis but confident the League of Ireland will survive

Derry City chairman, Philip O'Doherty can't understand how the FAI became engulfed in its current financial crisis.
Derry City chairman, Philip O'Doherty can't understand how the FAI became engulfed in its current financial crisis.

DERRY CITY Chairman, Mr Philip O’Doherty says he’s ‘angry’ and ‘embarrassed’ in the wake of the financial crisis currently engulfing the FAI.

As one of Ireland’s most successful businessmen, Mr O’Doherty, who founded manufacturing group E&I Engineering, claims he’s bemused at how the debt-ravaged association has reached its current plight.

Given the scrutiny League of Ireland clubs are under in order to ensure they balance their books annually, Mr O’Doherty said he didn’t understand how the governing body could be on the brink of liquidation.

“From a business point of view, I can’t understand how it got to that because you have a board of directors, you have auditors. It’s not just one year they have a problem but it goes back a long time,” explained Mr. O’Doherty.

“There is no good news coming out of the FAI at the minute. It annoys me. It embarrasses me.

“And there are so many football clubs playing at all levels in Ireland who will probably have less funding from the FAI as a result of this.

“Let’s just make sure Derry City doesn’t get run like that. We run a very tight ship financially. I would be looking for updates all the time. There’s a couple of people who do the management accounts.

“When I saw the requirements for clubs to submit information to the FAI, like management accounts, and then when I saw what they (FAI) were doing themselves in terms of their own accounts . . . the clubs are doing it properly now to be quite honest. It's a pity the FAI didn't apply the same standards to themselves and they wouldn't be in the mess they're in.

“I don’t want to make too much of a comment on that but we do our accounts properly and know exactly where we are. We know exactly where we are and the club is being run properly.”

Despite his concerns, Mr O’Doherty, who announced a 30 per cent increase in Declan Devine’s player budget for 2020, doesn’t believe the League of Ireland is under threat.

“Let’s not do the post mortem until we see the results. I don’t think the league is under any real threat. The government has to do something but then the right structures have to be in place.”