It is thought likely that the FAI will confirm at least two of the independent directors coming onto the board this week.

The conclusion of the AGM and filing of accounts took place over the Christmas break and much work has gone on behind the scenes with the Government meeting different stakeholders both formally and informally.

The AGM revealed that the current liabilities of the Association are €62 million but some breathing space was gained with minister ross and Griffin stating that the liquidation of the FAI, and a corresponding likely suspension from UEFA club and international competition would not be allowed to happen.

The challenge now is to make that happen in the context of the FAI being a Governing Body but also a limited company.

Directors who continue to trade when knowing that they cannot meet their company liabilities can be accused of trading recklessly and be held personally responsible so there is a real urgency to avoiding that call.

Banks who can see a strong revenue stream can make finance available to allay the fears of creditors but in order to do that they would need to see some form of guarantee coming from either the Government, UEFA or a combination of stakeholders.

UEFA are in Dublin on January 14th with meetings scheduled to take place with a number of different stakeholders, including the Government.

Up for discussion will obviously be the state of the current financial crisis facing the FAI but also some clarification over the hosting in Dublin of four games in Euro 2020.

There are substantial issues to be covered but given the proximity of the tournament, the loss of Brussels already from among the initial host cities, and the position of Russia as a host despite complications over its status in international sport as a result of a WADA suspension, there will also be a strong imperative to make sure that a solution is found through the maze.

The government will play a key role in that, as it would with any major international event taking place here.

It will also want to ensure that there is no sense of a blank cheque being written to erase the mistakes and actions that led to the current situation.

Bailouts to keep the banking and insurance sectors alive may be seen as being of greater strategic importance to the nation but then again, the size of the financial issues in relation to those two areas was also materially larger than that facing football.

It was the main story of sport away from the on-field action in 2019 and it will continue to be so as we start the New Year.

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