Sunday 24 February 2019

FAI board members could serve for up to 20 years under rule changes despite Government guidelines

FAI CEO John Delaney
FAI CEO John Delaney
Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport, Shane Ross

John Fallon

New FAI rule changes could see board members serve 20 years in situ - twice the length recommended under the Government guidelines.

Prolonged service by directors on sporting organisations has been a hot topic since the Olympic Council of Ireland were thrown into chaos following a ticketing scandal at the Rio games of 2016.

Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport, Shane Ross, sought root and branch reform of corporate governance structures, vowing to include other sporting codes in the overhaul.

"It will now be mandatory for all National Governing Bodies funded by Sport Ireland to begin the process of adopting the Corporate Governance Code," he said in 2017.

"The time-frame for progress on a comply-or-explain basis for the larger sporting organisations will be 2019."

Under the code's guidelines, best practice dictates that board members should serve no more than three cycles of three-year terms.

Although that nine-year duration is exceeded by seven of the FAI's 11-person board, their rule changes will instead facilitate the extension of those in power.

The FAI board are the ultimate decision-makers in the game, with chief executive John Delaney insistent they rubberstamp all major decisions such as managerial changes and the setting of prices for premium tickets. They voted to sack Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane the day before their final game against Denmark in November.

These rule amendments and additions, expected to be ratified at an EGM next Monday, will allow those with over 10 years of service to seek one final term of four years.

A spokesperson for Ross yesterday referred queries on the term limit proposals to Sport Ireland. The FAI declined to comment.

A spokesperson for Ross referred the matter to Sport Ireland. The FAI refused to confirm whether the Honorary Treasurer Eddie Murray or Honorary Secretary Michael Cody could seek an extra term in office.

Meanwhile, Dundalk's American owners Peak6 have sold their stake in English Premier League club Bournemouth.

The club announced that they were now fully owned by AFCB Enterprises Ltd, following the acquisition of PEAK6 Football Holding LLC's 25pc shares, a stake they acquired in November 2015.

Irish Independent

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