PFAI hit out at John Delaney comments

The Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland have hit out at remarks made by FAI Chief Executive John Delaney on Cork's RedFM, labelling them as inaccurate.

Delaney spoke to the Big Red Bench at the official opening of Ringmahon Rangers' new dressing rooms on Saturday, and when asked about the players holding a press conference last Wednesday about their grievences and their request for certain conditions to be met, he had this to say:

However the PFAI released a statement yesterday, saying that Delaney's comments were inaccurate and that he wasn't entirely familiar with the sequence of events as he was out of the country on UEFA business. 

The statement in full reads :

"The PFA Ireland was surprised and disappointed to hear the comments today attributed to John Delaney. They are inaccurate.

"We are conscious of the fact that the chief executive was out of the country on UEFA business when the dispute was at its most important stage and hence he may not be entirely familiar with the exact sequence of events. For this reason, we believe it is important to clarify these in order that no more confusion may arise.

"On Sunday last, the FAI sent the letter which has been widely circulated in which it made it clear that it would not agree to mediation which involved the PFA Ireland representing the players. No response to this letter had been sent by the players or their representatives when an email, in apparent contradiction to this letter was sent the following evening, Monday, in which the FAI confirmed that they were willing to enter into mediation to progress matters and said whoever represents the players was a matter for themselves.

"While this was well received by the players, despite the apparent volte face, they sought clarification of the position given the previous correspondence. They first suggested that settlement proposals be sent answering the issues which had been canvassed for nearly 12 months at this point. Clearly if these were acceptable, no mediation would be necessary. They then said that if these proposals were not acceptable that a mediation would need to take place on Wednesday 5 April, together with confirmation the PFA Ireland can represent the players, and be concluded by Thursday 5 April. Finally, the players asked for confirmation that they would not be penalised for their involvement in this process.

"They then said that unless these basic conditions were met, a press conference would be held. At no stage was the identity of the proposed mediator given to us and in fact we were not informed of his identity until the morning of Wednesday 5 April.

"The players fully expected agreement to these very reasonable points and were most surprised to receive a response which did not address them and merely expressed surprise at the calling of a press conference.

"For clarification, the press conference would not have proceeded had the FAI simply acceded to these conditions which they subsequently did the day after the press conference.

"This entire process would not have been necessary had the FAI engaged in a reasonable and sensible manner when the players concerns were first mooted.

"We would be hopeful that this has now clarified matters and the PFA Ireland can proceed with a mature, professional relationship with the FAI for all matters relating to the Woman's National Team and the League of Ireland."


Ireland meanwhile play Slovakia in a friendly at Tallaght Stadium this afternoon. Kick off is at 2. 

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