Sunday 19 January 2020

FAI announce Roy Barrett as new chairperson, while Catherine Guy and Liz Joyce to join 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 have confirmed the identity of three of the four independent members of their top table.

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.

It's understood that the fourth independent director has been identified but has some issues to tie up over the coming weeks before they can join the 12-person committee.

Donal Conway will stand down as FAI president on January 25. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Mr Barrett will take over as the chair of the board from Donal Conway who will stand down as President at an EGM on January 25.

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 the League of Ireland's problems.

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

FAI board members are hopeful that 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.

Sports Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Damien Eagers

The appointment 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 their main decision making body.

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

Mr Barrett said: "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.

"The new Board will now deal with this task with urgency, working collaboratively with its stakeholders."

Minister Ross welcomed the appointments, as did the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin.

"I welcome the appointment of the Independent directors to the board of the FAI. I am looking forward to a fresh, constructive dialogue opening between the new FAI and the government. The board will now be fully refreshed with the entire old guard removed," said Mr Ross.

"I am hopeful that all stakeholders will now be able to pursue a common goal of root and branch reform, of changing the culture of the FAI and ensuring that grass roots football , players , staff and volunteers are all protected."

Minister Griffin said: "This evening’s appointments, along with the final appointment to happen shortly, will mean that a fully refreshed Board is in place in the FAI, under an independent Chairman.

"It is clear to me that the required competence is now in place which will allow us to consider how best to help the FAI to move on."

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