FAI independent chairperson Roy Barrett has responded to suggestions that the Memorandum of Understanding - an integral part of the association's rescue package last January - was signed off on without the full approval of the board.

On Friday, the FAI will hold a special meeting with the FAI Council, who've had concerns over the terms agreed in the MoU, chiefly the implementation of a 50-50 split on the board between independent directors and football directors.

On Wednesday afternoon, FAI interim CEO Gary Owens rejected a suggestion, made by Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry in July, that Barrett had signed off on the MoU without it being approved by the board.

That led to an extraordinary response from the eight football directors - Paul Cooke, John Finnegan, Martin Heraghty, David Moran, Gerry McAnaney, Joe O'Brien, Richard Shakespeare and Ursula Scully - who issued their own statement that night saying: "The Elected Directors wish to state on the record that they did not approve the MoU before it was signed, therefore Mr MacSharry's statement is correct.

"The facts are that they only received a draft copy of the MoU at 9.02am on the 30th January and immediately raised concerns regarding some of the conditions with the Chairman and received no reply.

"The Elected Directors are calling on the interim CEO to immediately clarify his remarks."

On Thursday evening, the FAI issued a statement on Barrett's behalf.

In that statement, Barrett says that while some board members "expressed discontent with elements of the MoU via email", they had all "previously accepted that the overriding need was to ensure the financial future of our association".

Barrett says because of that, he "had no hesitation in signing the MoU on behalf of the Association later that day".

Earlier this week Barrett warned the FAI Council that funding will not be restored to the FAI if governance reforms are not approved at the FAI's EGM, which will take place on 31 August. 

Owens reiterated that point on Wednesday, saying that if the terms of the reforms are not pushed through the association could go bust.

FAI interim CEO Gary Owens (C)

Barrett's full statement reads: "As chairperson of the Board of the Football Association of Ireland, I wish to highlight a number of facts around the Memorandum of Understanding with the Irish Government which I signed on behalf of the Association on January 30th last.

"At a Board meeting of the FAI on January 28th, I updated my fellow directors on discussions with the various stakeholders and they mandated me to reach agreements with the Government, Bank of Ireland and UEFA on a financial package to secure the future of the Association.

"Late on the evening of January 29th, I was furnished with a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Ireland and the Football Association of Ireland in respect of the restoration of funding and the provision of additional funding support to the FAI for the period 2020-2023.

"On the morning of January 30th, I circulated the Memorandum of Understanding to my fellow Board members. Some expressed discontent with elements of the MoU via email but we had all previously accepted that the overriding need was to ensure the financial future of our Association. I subsequently had no hesitation in signing the MoU on behalf of the Association later that day.

"The FAI released two statements, both seen by the full Board, in support of the MoU that afternoon with quotes attributed to our President Gerry McAnaney and myself as chairperson of the Board of the FAI. 

"Both statements welcomed the announcement of the Memorandum of Understanding by Minister Shane Ross and both the President and I thanked all involved in making the agreement possible. 

"I also note a statement that day from Marc MacSharry TD, welcoming the agreement, calling it a fresh start for the Association and insisting that the conditions of the MoU must be adhered to.

"As we prepare for Friday's Special Council meeting of the FAI, and for an EGM at the end of the month, it is vital that we don't lose sight of the perilous financial situation that the Association was in last January and continues to face today. 

"At this point it is imperative that we all work together as an Association to guarantee the funding becomes available to protect our game, our staff and football in Ireland. I look forward to discussing the MoU with Council on Friday and with our AGM members at our EGM on August 31st.

"Whatever views people may have on the MoU, it has always been the case that the ultimate decision as to whether or not the MoU is agreed to and the funding is released, rests with voting members at the EGM."