John Delaney (football administrator)

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John Delaney
Born16 October 1967
Known forDictator of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI)
Home townTipperary, Ireland

John Delaney (born 16 October 1967) became chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) in March 2005, having held the post in an acting role for several months. He completed all his exams to become a chartered accountant but up to September 2016 had not gone through the formality of joining Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI).[1] He is also chairman of the board of directors of the Aviva Stadium.[2] He was elected to the executive committee of UEFA at the Helsinki Congress on the 5th April 2017.[3]

John Delaney became a member of the Executive Committee of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) in 2005.[4][5] He was re-elected unopposed as Second Vice-President of the OCI in 2008.[6] He resigned from the Executive Committee and from his position as the Second Vice-President of the OCI on 25 October 2016.[5][7] Prior to this, he had been seen as heir apparent to OCI president Pat Hickey.[8]

Soccer administration career[edit]

He rose to prominence in the wake of the 2002 Keane Saipan saga, having emerged as the FAI's public figurehead during the affair.[9] He became acting chief executive of the organisation in December 2004, after Fran Rooney's acrimonious departure.[10][11] Delaney became Acting Chief Executive of the FAI in December 2004, and took up the role full-time in March 2005.[12] In November 2006, his contract was extended to 2012.[12] In July 2010, the FAI's Board of Directors agreed to extend his contract once again, until 2015.[9]

Delaney has overseen the appointments of Steve Staunton, Giovanni Trapattoni, and Martin O'Neill to manage the Republic of Ireland national football team.

Handball incident[edit]

When FIFA offered Ireland a Fair Play Award following 2009's France v Republic of Ireland play-off, Delaney respectfully declined and said FIFA President Sepp Blatter was "an embarrassment to himself and an embarrassment to FIFA".[13]

On 4 June 2015, it was revealed by Delaney that FIFA had paid the FAI €5m (£3.6m) to stop legal action against them after their controversial World Cup play-off defeat in 2009.[14][15][16]


  1. ^ Fallon, John (4 September 2016). "FAI boss scores own goal on qualifications". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  2. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  3. ^ "John Delaney". UEFA. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  4. ^ "THE OLYMPIC COUNCIL OF IRELAND". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b Moran, Carroll (2017), "Chapter One: Introduction", REPORT of the Moran Inquiry (Inquiry into the receipt, distribution and sale of tickets to Olympic Games and ancillary matters) (PDF), Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, p. 9
  6. ^ "Sonia in line for Olympic Council role". Irish Examiner. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  7. ^ McConnell, Daniel; O Cionnaith, Fiachra (26 October 2016). "FAI boss John Delaney resigns as vice president of OCI". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  8. ^ D'Arcy, Ciarán (21 August 2016). "Who's who on the Olympic Council of Ireland executive committee: Members include FAI chief executive John Delaney, seen as heir apparent to Pat Hickey". The Irish Times. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Delaney pens new deal to stay at FAI helm". Irish Independent. 10 July 2010. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  10. ^ "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, but King John will not abdicate". Irish Independent. 24 October 2007. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  11. ^ "FAI confirms Rooney departure". RTÉ Sport. 3 November 2004. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  12. ^ a b "FAI extend Delaney's tenure". RTÉ Sport. 12 November 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2007.
  13. ^ Gannon, Willie (21 December 2009). "Ireland Turns Down FIFA's Patronizing Fair Play Award". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
  14. ^ "Fifa paid Irish to stop legal action over Thierry Henry handball". BBC Sport. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Delaney claims €5m Fifa payoff 'was a good deal'". Irish Independent. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  16. ^ "Eamon Dunphy: The FIFA payment to the FAI was like something from The Sopranos". Irish Independent. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.