The Irish Mail on Sunday
FAI can clear debt by 2020 if we want to, insists Delaney
ALMOST six years after targeting 10,000 Vantage Club ticket sales, the FAI are pursuing a similar number of international season ticket sales – at a tenth of the price.
FAI chief executive John Delaney is upbeat the FAI will sell ‘north of 10,000’ season tickets for 2014-15 and ‘may even get to 15,000.’
‘The season tickets are going well. We’ve sold 5,500 and we’ve another 3,000 renewals in June, which gets us comfortably up to eight (thousand) before we get into going to the grassroots and public,’ he said yesterday.
The average price of the recently-launched sevengame season ticket for adults is €180, which includes admission to six Republic of Ireland internationals at the Aviva Stadium and the FAI Cup final.
In contrast, the mean price of a Vantage Club 10-year ticket was €19,000, or €1,900 per year.
The United States are set to fill the remaining gap in the 2014-15 season when they play the Republic of Ireland in the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, November 18.
‘Next year (2015) will be a huge year with England, Scotland, Germany, Poland coming, and we expect four full houses.
‘The Nations League is coming in 2018, which in the longer term will be better for everybody,’ he added.
Delaney said he was confident the management team of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane would see out their FAI contracts.
‘Martin has wanted to manage Ireland for a long time and he wants to stay with us for a long time. Roy wants to work with Martin, and both want this team to go to Euro finals. Both have huge commitment to the job,’ he said.
Delaney also said the FAI could clear their Aviva Stadium debt by 2020 – the accounts at the 2013 AGM showed the FAI owed €59m on the stadium
‘We’ve had a very good bank deal over Christmas and we’ll give details in the summer. We’re still well on the way. If we want to clear it by 2020, it will be a board decision but if we want to, we will.’
Donal Conway, the FAI Schools representative on the FAI board, is in line to become the new vicepresident of the Association at July’s AGM in Athlone.
Delaney joined former internationals John Giles, Eamon Dunphy, Frank O’Neill, John Keogh and Gary Howlett at yesterday’s official opening of the 3G pitch in Stella Maris FC, Richmond Road.