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Recession hits Irish football as FAI tighten their belt

The FAI have cut salaries and let 12 staff go, including technical director Packie Bonner, while Giovanni Trapattoni and John Delaney are also set to take pay cuts.

Trapattoni earns about €1.8million a year from the FAI, part of which is supplemented by Irish businessman Denis O’Brien.

The legendary Italian coach and his management staff, including former World Cup winner Marco Tardelli, are set to take a pay cut of just over 5 per cent, worth about €100,000 of Trapattoni’s considerable salary.

The large pay deal was imperative in the signing of a manager as prolific and successful as Trapattoni and would not have been possible without the support of O’Brien, who is said to pay about half of not only Trapattoni’s salary, but also half of his management team’s salary.

The FAI’s initial announcement did not mention any cut in Trapattoni or Tardelli’s salaries but, after a suggestion from FAI general secretary John Delaney, Trapattoni agreed to show solidarity to the rest of the association.

The mercurial Italian is still being paid over three times the amount of former Ireland managers Steve Staunton and Brian Kerr, and for the fact that he does not attend any matches his players play at club level has meant that he is not without his critics.

Former Republic of Ireland no. 1 goalkeeper Packie Bonner is one of the 12 members of staff to be let go but may be kept on the books in an “ambassador” role.

The ramifications of the depletion of the FAI technical department are yet to be seen, but the release of positions such as Ian Carry, Development Officer for schools and National Futsal Co-Ordinator Derek O’Neill cannot be beneficial for Irish grassroots football.

After the success and progress of the women’s team in the U17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago during the summer, the news that Development Officer’s for the women’s game will be cut as well comes as a great disappointment.

FAI staff members who earn over €40,000 a year will take a 5 per cent cut in their salaries with John Delaney claiming to take over 5 per cent.

The FAI general secretary earns a reported €430,000 and has promised to take a higher percentage cut than the rest of the FAI staff.

The recently built Aviva Stadium and the poor ticket sales of the premium level scheme, as well as the current economic climate, are said to be a contributing factor to the cost-cutting at the FAI.

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