Saturday 24 August 2019

FAI Board have told Sports Minister Shane Ross they will be stepping down

FAI Board members
FAI Board members
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The FAI Board have indicated to Sports Minister Shane Ross that they will be stepping down.

The FAI wrote to Ross this morning to say they would be taking 'decisive action'. Ross wants an EGM called before the next scheduled AGM of the Association in July and wants to "facilitate a transition to a new board by way of transparent elections".

Ross was speaking in front of an Oireachtas Committee to discuss the controversy around the FAI.

"The existing board will step down to allow for a new board to be constituted in the best interests of football," said Minister Ross.

"There will be no further funding until we have received credible answers. I will be closely monitoring developments on corporate governance and the conditions that no new capital payments will be made by my department to the FAI until I am satisfied with the new measures."

The current board is made up of President Donal Conway, Vice President Noel Fitzroy, Mick Hanley, Jim McConnell, Eamon Naughton, Paraic Treanor, John Earley and Niamh O'Donoghue.

Honorary Secretary Michael Cody and Honorary Treasurer Eddie Murray resigned from their roles yesterday and John Delaney is no longer a board member since he changed from CEO to Executive Vice President.

Just before that hearing, the FAI's own auditors have notified authorities of potential failures in the company's accounts - and the sports minister has revealed that the entire board of the football association is to step down.

Deloitte have filed a notice to the Company Registration Office stating that "proper accounting records" were not kept at the Football Association Of Ireland.

Auditors Deloitte took the unusual and fairly dramatic step of reporting the failure by the company to keep proper accounting records on Friday, April 12, using a standard form.

Failure to maintain proper books is regarded as a Category 2 offence under the Companies act – and is potentially a criminal offence. In extreme cases offences can result in fines of up to €50,000 and up to five years in prison.

The filing said the FAI had contravened Sections 281 and 282 of the Companies Act 2014 – the specific rules setting out how a company must maintain adequate accounting records.

As auditors Deloitte had signed off on the FAI’s most recent accounts, but that filing makes clear auditors relied on information provided by the directors and that the directors themselves are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements.

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