‘We won’t ask the taxpayer to bail out the FAI’ – Varadkar

1

The Taxpayer will not be asked to “bail out” the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says.

The FAI recently asked Sports Minister Shane Ross for a government bailout of €18 million as they seek a refinancing package with their bank to secure their future.

This was denied as Ross found the FAI were not fit to handle public funds.

The government has said it won’t block the FAI from selling its stake in the Aviva Stadium, however, the Taoiseach would not say if the State will buy it.

“This is something I am genuinely worried about at the moment,” said Varadkar.

“We don’t want to be in a situation where we are somehow asking the taxpayer to bailout the FAI and take on their debts and liabilities and maybe their pensions too. We’re not going to do that,” he continued.

He said the government was “going to try work out with them a plan that allows us to protect soccer and protect football in Ireland but in a way that avoids the taxpayer being asked to provide a blank cheque to pay for the mistakes of the past.”

-Noah Harte