Gardai have questioned two former senior FAI executives as part of their investigation into the organisation’s finances, the Irish Mirror can reveal today.
Both men had worked under controversial Irish soccer boss John Delaney during his 14-year reign.
Mr Delaney, who is currently living in London running nursing homes, has not been questioned himself yet.
However he has privately indicated he will cooperate with the continuing investigation by the Director of Corporate Enforcement.
Detectives from the office interviewed the two former FAI executives separately.
It is understood that amongst the matters being investigated is how Mr Delaney spent €40,000 on his FAI credit card in six months, including €6,000 in cash withdrawals.
There were also questions over the alleged payment of €95,000 to Susan Keegan, an ex-girlfriend of the FAI boss, as agent’s fees for allegedly organising two friendly matches with England.
It is understood that the English FA had never heard of her.
Ms Keegan says she once received a cheque for €10,000 from Mr Delaney in 2012 but not €95,000. She confirmed she had nothing to do with organising football matches. She now lives with her husband in Spain where they run a gym.The Irish Mirror has learnt the first complaint to the ODCE was made by the FAI’s auditors Deloitte.
They claimed the Association’s accounts were wrong for a number of years through no fault of their own because they were given wrong information and were misled.
Now Deloitte are under scrutiny after the chairman of the Dail Sports Committee Fergus O’Dowd called on the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority to investigate “all aspects of these audits by Deloitte”.
The case is still under examination by the auditing body. The Irish Mirror can also reveal that an investigation carried out last year on behalf of Sport Ireland into the FAI’s finances by independent auditors, KOSI, recommended all Government funding to the soccer body be stopped.
The report was never published for legal reasons and was referred to the gardai.
It was on the basis of this probe that former Sports Minister Shane Ross stopped all State payments and demanded Mr Delaney and the whole FAI board quit.
Next Monday the FAI will hold an emergency general meeting to approve a new memorandum of understanding from Government so €32million in State funding can be restored.
A yes vote is crucial to the FAI’s financial future since it has €62million debt.
The Irish Mirror has learnt the Gardai are examining the FAI accounts to see if all the costs and salaries were accounted for in the year they were supposed to be.
It is understood that in the 2014-2015 accounts, the salary costs increased by €2.7million from €8.7million to €11.4million, even though the FAI only hired an extra eight staff that year.
The following year the FAI had recruited an additional 15 staff and the salary cost dropped by €1.1million from €11.4million to €10.3million.
The ODCE confirmed it is examining thousands of documents and emails as part of the FAI probe. It still cannot say how long it is going to take. A new book on the saga, Champagne Football, is to be published in mid-September.
No new disclosures are expected in the book but sources close to Delaney say he is very worried about it.