Glanmire soccer centre funding left in limbo

Glanmire soccer centre funding left in limbo
Looking towards the site for the FAI Centre of Excellence, Brooklodge, Co. Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.

ALL Government capital funding to the FAI will be withheld, it has been confirmed, placing further question marks over the construction of a provincial soccer centre in Glanmire.

The Echo reported this week that Sports Minister Shane Ross had said no funding would be provided to the football association until issues regarding corporate governance and finances are addressed.

Two members of the FAI board, honorary secretary Michael Cody and honorary treasurer Eddie Murray, resigned from the board on Monday night with the remaining members indicating they will now do the same.

The association's executive vice-president John Delaney has also offered to step aside from his role in the fall out from revelations surrounding a €100,000 loan he gave to the association in 2017.

The planned €10m Glanmire Centre of Excellence - a joint project between the FAI and Friends of the Rebel Army Trust (FORAS) with Cork City FC as anchor tenants at a site in Brooklodge - is reliant on approximately €5m of Government funding in order to go to construction.

However, the funding is being pursued through the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund - a scheme administered by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. The application was lodged last week but a decision is not due until November, which presents hope that the FAI can get its house in order to satisfy fund approval.

Speaking at a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport on Tuesday Minister Ross said: “With regard to future allocations under the Sports Capital Programme and the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund, I will be closely monitoring developments on corporate governance and the conditions which must be met before Sport Ireland’s funding to the Association is reinstated. In this regard, no new capital payments will be made by my Department to the FAI until I am satisfied with the new measures put in place,” he added.

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