Monday 16 September 2019

Ex-CEO's new job not advertised - and was created 'days' after review

Noel Rock: The TD quizzed the FAI president on John Delaney. Photo: Frank McGrath
Noel Rock: The TD quizzed the FAI president on John Delaney. Photo: Frank McGrath
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

The review that led to the creation of John Delaney's new role as Football Association of Ireland (FAI) executive vice president was commissioned and acted upon within a matter of weeks.

FAI president Donal Conway revealed the brief time-line of Mr Delaney's departure as chief executive and his appointment to his new job at the Oireachtas Sport Committee.

He said the review of FAI governance carried out by Jonathan Hall Associates began in early March this year and Mr Delaney was appointed on March 23 within "days" of its completion.

Responding to questions from Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, Mr Conway said the Hall review may have been commissioned after the FAI had received the first media query from the 'Sunday Times' about a €100,000 loan Mr Delaney made to the association.

Earlier he had told Mr Rock's party colleague Senator John O'Mahony that the review was commissioned in early March and Mr Delaney's appointment in the new role of executive vice president occurred "very quickly" after the finished report was received.

Mr Delaney was named as the executive vice president on March 23, the night the Irish football team beat Gibraltar 1-0. Mr Conway said it was a unanimous decision of the FAI board and there were minutes recorded of the meeting where Mr Delaney was selected, but that the document is "private".

He also said that the FAI did not advertise the new position as the board felt they had "somebody who had the skill-set that matched the role".

It was put to Mr Conway by Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster that this had the appearance of "same old, same old at the FAI board". Mr Conway said: "Good governance is something we want to ensure that we have at the FAI."

He said the appointment was dictated by a series of projects, including the potential hosting of major international competitions.

He said that other than Mr Delaney there is no other member of the FAI who would be a member of the executive committee of Uefa or who would have a presence at Fifa.

"I think you could challenge us on an issue of good governance if there were a range of people… who would have fitted the role of executive vice president with the responsibilities attached," said Mr Conway.

"But it was the board's view that there was one person who would suitably be able to manage those projects."

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger asked Mr Delaney about his new role and his continuing involvement with Uefa and if he was "double-jobbing".

Mr Delaney rejected this. He said his new job is to manage specific projects and use his "strengths" to "hopefully bring big tournaments to Ireland, bring more funding back to the FAI for the grassroots".

Irish Independent

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