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Tuesday 28 January 2020

Goodbody chief comes in to chair reshaped FAI board

The FAI's newly-appointed independent chairperson Roy Barrett
The FAI's newly-appointed independent chairperson Roy Barrett
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Roy Barrett, the managing director of Goodbody Stockbrokers, has been appointed as the new chairperson of the board of the FAI.

The troubled football body last night confirmed the identity of three independent directors.

Mr Barrett will be joined by Catherine Guy, the CEO of Sixt Leasing and a former managing partner of law firm ByrneWallace, and Liz Joyce, an experienced HR director whose current role is with the Central Bank.

The appointments were ratified at an FAI board meeting, with the names recommended by a nominations committee that acted on the work of recruitment firm Amrop.

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It is understood the fourth candidate has been identified but has some issues to tie up over the coming weeks.

Mr Barrett will take over as the chair of the board from Donal Conway, who will stand down as president later this month.

He is a close associate of ex-Ireland striker Niall Quinn and was part of a group established earlier this year with a view to forming a solution to League of Ireland issues.

Mr Barrett's involvement in the FAI has opened up the possibility that Quinn will have some role in the future - although not as CEO.

Pedigree

FAI board members are hopeful that Mr Barrett's pedigree will be of major benefit when it comes to discussions with Government aimed at agreeing a rescue package.

Minister Shane Ross and a delegation from the Department of Sport are due to meet officials from Uefa next Tuesday in attempts to find a resolution to the Abbotstown body's dire predicament.

The appointment of the independent directors has been flagged by Mr Ross as an essential step in the process of improving relations.

FAI governance changes voted through in July decreed that four outsiders should sit on the top table.

From this July, they also need four members of the 12-person board to be women and they are three-quarters of the way to that target with Ms Guy and Ms Joyce joining Ursula Scully who took a seat as an underage-football representative.

"There is a serious job of work to be done to address the very significant failures which have beset the organisation in terms of its governance and its finances," Mr Barrett said.

Irish Independent

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