Fine Gael Senator tell's Robbie Keane to refund 250k FAI salary to Irish grassroots football

Fine Gael Senator tell's Robbie Keane to refund 250k FAI salary to Irish grassroots football

FORMER IRELAND striker Robbie Keane has been asked to refund his €250,000 a year FAI salary to help grassroots football in Ireland. 

Keane worked for the Irish football team, when Mick McCarthy was at the helm. He has continued receive the wage packet from the FAI despite leaving the set-up with McCarthy in April 2020. 

The Republic of Ireland's all-time leading goalscorer made way for Stephen Kenny and his backroom staff, but has still retained his contract with the FAI.

Keane and the FAI have failed since to agree on an alternative role to occupy him during his €5,000-per-week employment.

Last month, FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill confirmed that Keane remains on the FAI payroll

It runs out this summer with the FAI continuing to pay Keane in full. 

Senator Micheál Carrigy, Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson for Sports, believes Keane should hand back the money and that it should be used for local youth development in the country.

He said

“Despite having left his coaching position almost two years ago, Robbie Keane is still being paid €250,000 a year by the taxpayer.

“This is happening at a time when local grassroots soccer clubs desperately need increased funding.

“Over half a million has been paid to Robbie Keane by the public since 2020, and yet he has failed to answer questions regarding what he has actually done during the period to earn this salary.

“What work has he done to date since leaving his previous role in 2020? Is he working with the FAI in an active position at the moment? If not, can he stand by earning such an income with very little to show for it?

“The FAI is a publicly funded association, with millions of euros coming from taxpayers’ pockets each year to support its operations. While the organization does incredible work up and down the country, we cannot sit by and watch hundreds of thousands of euros effectively go down the drain.

“This money is badly needed by youth organizations and local clubs, to improve training facilities, fund coaching and mentoring for young players, and even ensure the futures of some clubs.

“If Robbie Keane has received over half a million euro from the taxpayer for very little work, I believe he should refund this money back to the FAI so that it can be distributed to the local clubs who need it most.

“We simply cannot afford to waste €250,000 each year, when such money would be a gamechanger for players and teams across the country."