A solicitor for the Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland has said he does not think there is any way FAI Executive Vice President John Delaney will leave the FAI without a sum of money.

Last night, Mr Delaney stepped aside pending the completion of an investigation into issues of concern to the board.

Minister for Sport Shane Ross and representatives from Sport Ireland will appear before an Oireachtas committee today to discuss financial and governance issues at the FAI.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Stuart Gilhooly said there is no doubt former chief executive Mr Delaney is entitled to due process, and that it is important there is closure.

He said Mr Delaney cannot be sacked for gross misconduct without any evidence, which is why an investigation is needed.

"What's quite clear is that there's a loss of confidence in John Delaney. The board and politicians seem to have lost confidence, and I can tell you that the football community and the players have lost confidence in him," said Mr Gilhooley.

"So the question is, what do the board do from there? They clearly cannot sack him for gross misconduct without evidence of same, and they haven't got that.

"That's why an investigation is taking place, and who know what investigation will show up - it may well show he's done nothing wrong, who knows."

Mr Gilhooly said that some time needs to be taken to consider who still remains on the FAI board, following the voluntary resignation of two members last night, honorary secretary Michael Cody and treasurer Eddie Murray.


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He said some of those on the board have only joined recently, and should be given a chance to pilot the organisation to some level of respectability.

Mr Gilhooly added that one thing is very clear for the future - external directors with experience in business, not just football, are needed.

Meanwhile, a member of the FAI Senior Council has said that Mr Delaney will have no choice but to leave the association - "for his own sake and for everybody's sake".

Speaking on the same programme, John O'Regan, who is also a friend of Mr Delaney’s, said it is very easy to be on the populist side and criticise Mr Delaney for things that went wrong, but no one is pointing out the "marvellous work" that he has done for the FAI.

Mr O'Regan said Mr Delaney is "being hounded day and night".