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John Delaney: Denis O'Brien will provide 'firepower' to fund next Ireland manager

Updated: Wednesday, 11 Sep 2013 19:17 | Comments

"I think it's a time for reflection after a traumatic four or five days"
"I think it's a time for reflection after a traumatic four or five days"

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney has confirmed that businessman Denis O'Brien will continue to provide financial backing for the next Ireland manager.

It was confirmed by the FAI this morning that the contracts of Giovanni Trapattoni and the current management team had been ended by 'mutual consent'.

Under a deal negotiated before the appointment of Trapattoni in 2008, O'Brien agreed to part-fund the wages of the Irish boss, at the time believed to be in the region of €1.7 million.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport this afternoon, Delaney said this arrangement will to continue in the short term at least.

"Denis O’Brien has confirmed that he will continue to stick with this project for the next two years at least. We have the firepower to go to the market to try and get ourselves a manager."

Delaney refused to be drawn on the nature of the payoff to Trapattoni, but sought to dismiss speculation that his contract ran until next summer.

"His contract does not run until 1 June. Whatever happens is confidential, but there is no substantial cost to the Association.

"There was a recognition that over his time in charge Giovanni was paid a good salary and that he delivered more than he didn’t deliver. We were unfortunate the first time out in our World Cup qualification bid, with the events in Paris. We qualified for the Euros last year – our first time getting there in 24 years.

"However, this qualifying campaign has been disappointing, in spite of the emergence of some good young players coming through."

"No player in the current squad ever came to me about communication issues" - John Delaney

The slow speed at which many of those young players were integrated into the Irish side was one source of frustration among Ireland fans - added to frequent rumours of disputes and 'communication issues' with management.

"I think there is mixed opinion on that," said Delaney. "No player in the current squad ever came to me about communication issues of a football nature.

"Some former players, who played under him, did approach me to outline their grievances. There is a view out there that football is international and that you don’t need great English to get your message across.

"We did, however, feel after the last year’s heavy defeat to Germany that we should speak to him about matters that were of great concern. He took what he had to say to him on board. From that period last October prior to the game with Sweden we seemed to back on track. A late goal against Austria at home cost us victory."

Even before confirmation that the Trapattoni era had ended, speculation on his successor had focused on Martin O'Neill, but Delaney refused to be drawn on either the identity of the likely candidates or the timing of the appointment.

"I think it’s a time for reflection after a traumatic four or five days. A board meeting will take place within the next week at which we’ll define the process, time-scale and job description for the next manager.

"It’s been a difficult four of five days for the Association. When we lost to Sweden it looked then that our World Cup qualification hopes had ended. The defeat last night (to Austria) confirmed that."

Delaney said intitial discussions with Giovanni Trapattoni took place last night and a follow up meeting was held this morning.

"There was a lot of emotion in the room. You’ve spent five and a half years working with Giovanni, Marco Tardelli and Franco Rossi. It was a practical and friendly discussion the led to the decision to end the tenure of the management team.

"There was a lot of emotion when you’re saying goodbye, but it’s not goodbye forever. I’m sure at some stage in the future we’ll meet up again. Giovanni is a good man – a legend in the world game and the manner in which he left was very dignified"

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