Sunday 25 August 2019

Dave Moran and Stuart Gilhooly set to take places on new FAI board

FAI restore relations with Schoolboys' association by guaranteeing place at top table ahead of Saturday's EGM

PFAI solicitor Stuart Gilhooly. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
PFAI solicitor Stuart Gilhooly. Photo: Kyran O’Brien

John Fallon

Elements of the new Football Association of Ireland board are taking shape after it emerged that Dave Moran and Stuart Gilhooly are set to take their place at Irish soccer's top table.

The Leinster Football Association, a major powerbroker on the FAI council, met last night and decided to propose Moran for a seat at the top table.

Mr Moran is Chairman of the Leinster Senior League, the largest amateur league in the country.

They were the first to break rank amid the FAI crisis in April to seek views from their clubs on confidence levels in the current board.

FAI president Donal Conway. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
FAI president Donal Conway. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Also understood to be a potential nominee for the board is Stuart Gilhooly. He acts as solicitor for the Players Football Association of Ireland (PFAI).

Of the 12-person board, four will be independent. Six will come through the football structures, with another two from the same pool as President and Vice-President.

Meanwhile, harmonious relations between the FAI and the Schoolboys’ FAI (SFAI) have been restored just in time for Saturday’s crucial EGM.

Rancour within the association only deepened last month when SFAI Chairman John Earley quit as a director in protest at the lack of a guaranteed place on the new board for schoolboy football.

His resignation hurtled moves to get a raft of 78 reform recommendations passed at the EGM into major doubt.

The SFAI, including the leagues which govern girls football, carrying a bloc of around one quarter of the 206 votes at the EGM.

Only a two thirds majority would ratify the changes which are essential for Sport Ireland to restore state funding to the organisation.

Peace offerings have been afoot since. 

President Donal Conway visited the SFAI AGM last Saturday fortnight to explain how they could have a route onto the board. 

The committee that nominates that person to the board will be comprised of 10 SFAI delegates and two from the women’s underage game.

Compared to 120,000 players under the SFAI’s auspices, the girls league has a player population of around 20,000.

Conway today met with Earley for further negotiations and following an SFAI AGM held tonight, the following statement was issued:

"Following discussions today between the SFAI and FAI in relation to the make-up of the proposed new schoolboys/schoolgirls constituency, it has been confirmed this evening by the FAI that the number of members in the constituency reflects levels of player participation," it read.

"The FAI has also confirmed any change in the composition/membership of this constituency will only arise following changes in those player participation levels.

"Therefore, the SFAI Executive Committee has agreed unanimously to accept the new FAI governance reforms. 

"On that basis the SFAI Executive Committee are recommending all SFAI affiliated leagues vote in favour of the proposals being put forward by the FAI at the upcoming EGM and AGM."

It remains to be seen who the SFAI nominate for their place on the board.

However, this development should be sufficient for the proposals to be carried at the EGM in Dunboyne.

It remains to be seen who the SFAI nominate for their place on the board.

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