Three Ireland hangs up on FAI as it pulls football sponsorship
There was more bad news today for the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and its newly appointed CEO from Waterford after its main sponsors announced they will not be renewing their lucrative deal.
Three Ireland, who became the primary sponsor of all of the Republic of Ireland’s international squads back in 2010, announced they will not be renewing the partnership when the current deal ends next July.
The mobile phone operator, who are headed up by Waterford man Robert Finnegan, have invested €30m into the FAI and soccer in Ireland during their time as sponsor but have said they will focus on music events going forward.
This announcement heaps further pressure on new FAI chief and Waterford native Paul Cooke, who only accepted the position yesterday.
Cooke took the reigns following the announcement by former Waterford Crystal boss John Foley that he would not take up the role, despite agreeing to do so last month.
The former chartered accountant and newspaper executive, Cooke accepted the position despite Minister for Sport Shane Ross insisting the new FAI chief be “completely independent” of the football body.
Earlier this year, during the upheaval that saw former FAI boss John Delaney leave the organisation, Cooke volunteered to oversee a group tasked with investigating the finances of the footballing body.
In a statement released by the mobile phone operator, they wished all Irish football the very best into the future.
“Three has made the decision not to renew its sponsorship of Irish football when the current contract comes to an end at the end of July 2020.
“Having recently reviewed our full sponsorship portfolio, we have decided to consolidate our sponsorship investment in the area of music.
“We also wish the Irish teams at every level the very best in the future.”