Friday 18 October 2019

FAI accounts won't be made available at AGM for the first time in its history

Donal Conway said some of the FAI board want to stay on. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Donal Conway said some of the FAI board want to stay on. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Sport Fergus O'Dowd says he is "gravely worried" by the FAI's announcement that accounts for 2018 will not be presented at the association's AGM in three weeks' time.

The Fine Gael TD is also highly critical of a statement by FAI president Donal Conway that at least one and possibly two members of the current board will put themselves forward for election to a new board at that AGM in Trim, Co Meath, on July 27.

The FAI last night issued a statement saying that an EGM had been called for July 20 and that the association will continue to carry out "roadshows" across the country to spell out the details of the reform process, as outlined in the report made by the FAI's Governance Review Group (GRG).

The EGM is needed, the association claimed, to "facilitate the implementation of the first phase of the Governance Review Group report's recommendations, including changes to the board".

But a revelation by the FAI that the 2018 accounts will not be presented to delegates at the AGM has been greeted with dismay in football and political circles, as well as confirmation by Mr Conway that some of the board want to stay on.

"Given the well-publicised issues that have arisen over the last number of months and the investigations that are ongoing, it will not be possible to present the 2018 accounts to the members at the AGM.

"It is therefore necessary that this element of the business of the AGM be adjourned until such time as the accounts are finalised, and the audited accounts can be laid before the members," Mr Conway said in a letter sent to AGM delegates.

This is believed to be the first time in the association's 98-year history that accounts were not made available.

Mr O'Dowd said the lack of clarity on the accounts is unacceptable. "I am extremely concerned to read that the accounts will not be presented at the AGM, that is very worrying," Mr O'Dowd said last night.

He was also concerned by confirmation from Mr Conway that some of the board will go forward for election to a new board.

"For handover and transition purposes and to manage the serious risks where everyone leaves at once, at least one or possibly a maximum of two members might consider putting themselves forward for positions on the interim board," Mr Conway said in his letter.

Irish Independent

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