Wednesday 24 July 2019

FAI delegates warned sponsors want changes implemented as Association begins move towards new era

FAI President Donal Conway. Photo: Sportsfile
FAI President Donal Conway. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

THE Football Association of Ireland will begin their move towards a new era by hosting their emergency general meeting on Saturday week, July 20, at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel.

The summit will take place at 5.30pm, directly after the annual women's convention which had been scheduled for the same day and venue before the FAI announced the EGM last week.

Delegates have today been sent a raft of rule changes they will be asked to vote upon at the EGM.

It follows a period of turmoil of the organisation, which has seen former chief executive John Delaney placed on gardening leave and the secretary and treasurer quitting. Another board member, John Earley, last month resigned in protest at the lack of a guaranteed permanent presence in the new board of the FAI for the powerful schoolboy sector.

Six separate investigations are ongoing at the association and Uefa have made available a borrowing facility to ease any cash-flow concerns at the embattled organisation.

A governance review group report published last month suggested 78 recommendations. Government funding will only be reinstated if the proposals are supported by at least 140 of the potential 206 voters.

President Donal Conway also informed delegates in a letter sent on Friday that sponsors want the changes to be implemented.

Despite Sports Minister Shane Ross calling for all remaining seven members of the board to end their service, Conway wants to remain in-situ for another 12 months. The governance review report advises that a maximum of two current board members should serve on the interim board for a further 12 months. 

So extensive is the overhaul that delegates were issued with two rule-books today, one including the proposed amendments and a second branded the 'cleaned' version.

Also contained in the pack is the composition of each of the new football committees. These are to operate beneath a football management committee, ultimately working with the new board.

The association's annual general meeting will be held a week later, on July 27, in Trim.

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