Sunday 25 August 2019

FAI staff call on Conway and Fitzroy to not seek re-election

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Stock picture

John Fallon

Staff at the FAI have called on Donal Conway and Noel Fitzroy to withdraw their nominations to be re-elected as president and vice-president of the association.

Both officers are standing for re-election at the annual general meeting - with Mr Conway unopposed to retain his position as president.

But their candidature has incensed Sport Ireland.

It will only consider reinstating Government funding when there's a full clear out of board members who worked around the table with former chief executive John Delaney.

The two men's bid for re-election has also met with opposition from members of the union Siptu who work at the FAI.

The union's services division organiser Karan O'Loughlin said: "Siptu members in the FAI have called for the full implementation of the Governance Review recommendations in order to provide a fresh start for the association.

"Our members are also alarmed at a statement made by Donal Conway after the extraordinary general meeting on Saturday, warning of potential staff redundancies."

The fears over redundancies look set deepen after general manager Noel Mooney confirmed a decision on the matter couldn't be made for at least a month.

Mr Mooney, who says it is "extremely unlikely" he'll apply for the chief executive's job on a full-time basis when his secondment from Uefa ends in November, said he could not provide guarantees of job security to the staff of 205.

"I can't say [anything] on the job situation at the moment because I actually don't know," he said.

"We should have a better picture in three or four weeks. We've only started to look at our fiscal position and had a meeting yesterday."

Mr Mooney, a former League of Ireland goalkeeper, suggested the upheaval in Irish football makes it unattractive for him to stay at the helm.

"Asking me today, with all the noise and commentary out there, I'm not sure that I would even apply for it. I would say it's highly unlikely.

"I just hope whoever the FAI brings in as permanent chief executive is the right person to bring Irish football forward."

Mr Mooney was speaking at the launch of a Uefa report showing football contributes €1.13bn to the Irish economy.

The analysis strengthens the FAI's case for more Government funding - but they have to restore the existing grants towards staff wages before entering new ground.

Sport Minister Shane Ross is also not happy over Mr Conway's intention to seek re-election at the AGM.

Mr Ross was also critical of Mr Mooney's return to the association in May, bracketing him with the old guard of the FAI connected to Mr Delaney.

Irish Independent

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