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FAI owe CSSL €22k

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Clare Schoolboys/Schoolgirls Soccer League is owed €22,171 from the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).

Financial problems at the FAI have been highlighted throughout the year with the CSSL one of the many leagues left short by the Abbotstown administration.

Question marks of the CSSL’s finances were raised by delegates attending Tuesday’s AGM which took place at Treacys West County Hotel. Such was the concern from clubs that the treasurer’s report was not passed which means an Emergency General Meeting will have to be convened.

Outgoing secretary Ciarán O’Dea gave the treasurer’s report which stated that they have “a healthy balance” of €135k up €11,985.65 on the previous year. In 2019, the CSSL only received €1,000 in FAI grants compared to €9,657 in 2018. “We are all aware from listening to the radio and different media outlets that the FAI have not been paying out”. However, he said the CSSL has a surplus of €18,196 for the year ending October 31st 2019 which is up on the €16,188 last year.

According to O’Dea, the grant for the Elite Training Programme has not been paid by the FAI for two years, at least €9,000 is due as a result with approximately €2,000 in an administration grant not paid. “I don’t know if it will ever materialise, your guess is as good as mine. They tell me it will be paid”.

Tony Downey, Treasurer of the Clare District Soccer League (CDSL) was the first to query the report, “the grants from the FAI should be credited on the income”. “It’s not we didn’t get them,” O’Dea responded.

“For the figures to balance it has to be credited. The €22,000 is debited on the current assets. If it isn’t credited, there is an issue,” Downey highlighted. “It’s not received,” Girls Fixtures Secretary, Deirdre Shannon replied. Downey cautioned, “If it is incorrect you haven’t made €18,000 in profit, you will actually have a loss of €4,000. I’m not trying to roost someone, if I did the accounts I’d have a note on it”.

Chartered accountant Donal O’Sullivan put together the financial statement based on the information provided by the CSSL. O’Dea outlined there were different formats of the accounts that could have been given to delegates but he as secretary chose one he felt clubs would find easier to understand, “For me if it ain’t an income, it ain’t an income,” he said as to why the due grants were included on the balance sheet as opposed to income.

Downey who has been a self-employed accountant since 1998 warned that the €22,000 was missing somewhere in the CSSL’s accounts and said otherwise it was “a fictitious figure” which the secretary disputed, “It is not a fictitious figure”.

Declan Farmer, the outgoing Chairman pointed out that “if” the grants were paid in the morning all the detail provided would be correct. “It is very slow for everyone to get money off the FAI, this is going on all around the country”.

Fixtures secretary Conor Twomey pointed out that the FAI money is not included in the income or expenditure and is in the same bracket as the €10,334 of the Lifford loan. “It is wiping off the €18,000 profit. We can’t sign off on this tonight, it is inaccurate”, Downey stated. O’Dea asked the CDSL treasurer to put his queries in an email and they would be forwarded to the accountant.

“I find it very difficult to pass this, it needs to go to an EGM,” Downey outlined. Tulla United’s Denis Corry suggested all queries be brought to the accountant. Brendan Wall of Shannon Hibs reiterated what was said by the fixtures secretary in that the FAI money due is kept in the same bracket as the Lifford loan.

It was then agreed by delegates present to proceed with the business of the meeting with an EGM to be held to pass the Treasurer’s Report.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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