Thursday 18 July 2019

FAI chiefs to be quizzed on succession plan after curveball from Keane

Republic of Ireland assistant coach Robbie Keane. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland assistant coach Robbie Keane. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Senior FAI officials Noel Mooney and Donal Conway will be pressed for details this week on how Stephen Kenny's succession as Ireland manager will work, after Robbie Keane revealed that his own contract with the FAI is not tied to Mick McCarthy.

Senior team boss McCarthy and U-21 team manager Kenny are on their summer break after a busy spell on the international calendar, with Kenny's U-21s securing a fourth-place finish at the Toulon Tournament.

But Keane, who will keep his role as Ireland coach under McCarthy despite landing a job last week as assistant manager with Middlesbrough, has stirred things up with his weekend comments about his own future in the FAI.

When Keane was announced as part of the coaching ticket under McCarthy for just one campaign, it was assumed that the deals of Keane and No 2 Terry Connor ran out once Ireland's involvement in Euro 2020 was over, at which point Kenny will take over from McCarthy and, it was also assumed, appoint his own backroom staff.

Keane, though, has now claimed that's not the case and his contract goes beyond McCarthy's term.

"It is for a few years. The FAI want me to stay on here. My contract is longer than the manager's. They want me to hang on, I will be here. If they don't want me, no problem," Keane said.

FAI president Conway, who was on the board when the McCarthy-Kenny deal was announced last year, is due to speak to the media this week along with Mooney, and Conway will be asked for clarity on Keane's situation.

The FAI's Governance Review Group (GRG) will meet today to finalise a report due to be published on Friday.

A draft report was presented to FAI board members last week, its main recommendations that a new-look FAI board would have 12 members, four of them independent of the so-called 'football family', with at least four female directors.

The GRG received feedback from the FAI, UEFA, FIFA and Sport Ireland since the draft was issued and a final report will be issued on Friday.

Irish Independent

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