By FRANKIE LALLY
On Wednesday night the FAI decided to back their man and pledged their allegiance to Giovanni Trapattoni staying in charge of the national team and hopefully leading them to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
Some fans may not agree with their decision, after all Ireland suffered a humiliating 6-1 defeat at the hands of Germany less than a week ago and that was fresh from registering zero points at the European Championships.
But the biggest problem facing Irish football is not the manager.
Okay, some of Trapattoni’s tactics and squad selections have been bizarre to say the least, but the real problem in the game here lies beneath the surface.
Sligo Rovers became League of Ireland champions this year, they played some great football and fully deserved to win the title. What was their reward? €100,000.
Now, consider this. To enter the league it costs a club around €19,000 euro. That does not include staff and player wages, ground maintenance, bills and so on. So how is it feasible for the man in charge of Irish football – FAI CEO John Delaney – to take home FOUR TIMES what Sligo earned for winning the league this year? It doesn’t.
That is why clubs in Ireland have gone to the wall and will continue to do so time and time again. Delaney earns €430k a year and the combined package of boss Trapattoni and his management team is around €2 million a year. How can that go on when you look through the league table and struggle to find a team who have not been in or currently are in serious financial distress?
Sacking Trapattoni would only be the short-term answer to a minor problem and sure, it may even sell a few more tickets for next month’s eagerly awaited friendly with Greece (I’m being sarcastic in case you can’t tell) and it may bring about a more attractive way of playing football, but it’s time for a bigger change.
One man – and a board who are afraid to oppose him – have brought football in this country to its knees.
Time to go John.