FAI will now cover entire cost of 300,000-euro distress fund for clubs to pay player wages

Mon, Jul 30 2018

STAY OFF THE PITCH Credit: Michael P Ryan

The FAI will now put up the entire €300,000 for a proposed emergency fund to help out distressed clubs that are unable to pay wage obligations to players.

The association had originally suggested that the players' association, the PFAI, should pay in €150,000 that the FAI would match.

This drew the ire of the PFAI, who hadn't been informed in advance of the announcement and who argued it was not the players' responsibility to pay their own wages.

“The idea that we would match the contribution of the FAI, an organisation with a multi million euro turnover, when our organisation has a tiny fraction of its size and turnover, is mind boggling,” the PFAI said in a statement at the time.

“The total fund proposed is less than the annual salary of the chief executive of the FAI thus making it deeply insulting that players, all of whom earn a tiny percentage of his income, should be expected to contribute to a fund to pay their own wages.”

Documents obtained by RTE's Soccer Republic, and revealed on the show on Monday evening, show the FAI have decided to press on with the fund drawn entirely from FAI revenues.

Any club that taps into the fund will automatically be deducted six league points and will have to repay the money in full before the end of the season or face further sanctions.

Non-repayment of the cash would see a Premier Division club relegated, while a relegated or First Division club would be deducted six further points the following season.

Clubs will also be blocked from signing any new players for the remainder of the season in which they access the fund – a punishment imposed on Bray Wanderers and Limerick earlier this month.