Belfast Telegraph

IFA exposed

The ‘damning' evidence that brought down the heads of the Irish FA can today be revealed. It shows deposed President Raymond Kennedy KNEW the IFA could be exposed to legal action when he sacked former Chief Executive Howard Wells. But he went ahead at an eventual cost to football of over £500,000.

The background to the controversy can be outlined for the first time after Sunday Life obtained the highly critical Government-ordered Sport NI report into the affair that this week led Kennedy and his No2 David Martin to quit.

In it, Kennedy clearly ADMITS acting against legal advice in his summary dismissal of Wells.The report also airs previously unheard details of Wells' case against the IFA over his treatment there.

These include claims of race discrimination, unauthorised deduction of wages and victimisation.

The case, of course, never got to court with the IFA settling at a cost of £516,000 to football.

Sports Minister Nelson McCausland described the report's findings as ‘damning' and ‘extremely damaging'.

They led to his call for changes at the top, and in the whole structure of the organisation, before committing public money towards the £30million Windsor Park re-development.

His concerns at the behaviour of the IFA arise from that report by FPM chartered accountants.

Examining Kennedy's role in Wells' sacking, it states: “Mr Kennedy confirmed to FPM that he was aware from legal advice received that should the employment of Mr Wells be terminated, the IFA was vulnerable to a claim for unfair dismissal.”

For the full story, see this week's Sunday Life.

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