Irish American Football Association responds to Navy charges of forced payments
IAFA responds to his charges.
Prior to issuing the draft sanction conditions, the IAFA consulted with the Irish Sports Council (ISC) as well as some overseas football organizations.
It regarded the ISC staff as having some expertise in this area due to their knowledge of the Irish NGB sector. The ISC provided detailed feedback which was taken on board by the IAFA prior to the issue of the draft sanction conditions to the US Naval Academy (‘Navy’) in October 2010. The Emerald Isle Classic is a Navy event. During the months of November and December 2010, there were some discussions regarding the implementation of the sanction conditions. IFAF and USA Football expressed an interest in assisting and Navy indicated that it was happy to sign the sanction documentation.
The sanction documentation, which included some local regulatory requirements as well as development and promotional initiatives, was signed by both sides at a meeting in Dublin on 16th March 2011. The meeting was very cordial with both sides indicating a willingness to work together. In July 2011, the IAFA contacted Robb Dunn of Navy regarding the finalization of the implementation of sanction conditions and Mr. Dunn responded that he was not aware of any difficulties.
In December 2011, the promoters held a limited presale of tickets for the game. One of the original sanction conditions was that volunteers involved in the sport locally would have the opportunity to purchase tickets in this sale, however, it commenced without their inclusion. The IAFA complained directly to Navy, who intervened at short notice and arranged for their inclusion. By this time, work on the implementation of the development initiatives should have commenced, but, the IAFA had received no communications from Navy on these issues.
In March 2012, Mr. Julian Davis of Fleishman Hillard claimed that his company represented Navy in Ireland, however, the IAFA was told by Navy that they did not represent Navy in relation to these particular issues. In early May 2012 the IAFA wrote to Mr. Gladchuk indicating unhappiness with the lack of communication, confusion over their local representation and some outstanding regulatory requirements. Navy never responded to this letter. On 28th May 2012, the IAFA sent a letter, drafted by its solicitors, to Navy pointing out that the agreement was not being adhered to and that Fleishman Hillard appears to be attempting to renegotiate it. Navy never replied to this letter.
Shortly afterwards, the IAFA’s solicitors wrote to Navy seeking compliance with the contract. This led to the scheduling of formal settlement talks which took place on 10th July 2012. The settlement talks ended when Navy Associate Athletic Director Robb Dunn prematurely left the room. The IAFA has since formally asked for the matter to be referred to mediation, however Navy has refused.
Arguments put forward by Navy and the promoter include reference to International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Statutes concerning the sanctioning of International games which both IFAF and the IAFA agree have no relevance to the Emerald Isle Classic game.
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