Saturday Read: Helicopters, prawn sarnies and feng shui – the remarkable world of John Delaney’s FAI
‘Champagne Football’ lifts lid on tumultuous years for FAI
September 19 2020 02:30 AM
Birthday Boy: Guests at John Delaney’s lavish James Bond themed 50th birthday party in Mount Juliet, Co Kilkenny included Martin O’Neill, the Irish football manager, Labour Party leader Alan Kelly, comedian Brendan O’Carroll and his wife Jennifer Gibney, Johnny Giles and Minister for Rural Development Michael Ring.
It ended with the High Kings singing The Parting Glass. The FAI, according to a report by accountancy firm Mazars, footed bills of €26,293 for the hire of Mount Juliet, €25,000 for event organiser Franc, €7,595 for chauffeurs for guests, €4,000 for the High Kings, €3,609 for helicopters which couldn’t leave the ground because of Storm Ophelia and accommodation costs for the birthday boy, John Delaney of €1,117. In all it costs the FAI around €32,000, even after Delaney reimbursed the association €50,000. Mazars said there was an “absence of evidence of any formal arrangements” with the board to of the FAI to pay these bills.