Monday 9 December 2019

FAI plunged into more chaos as John Foley turns down top role

John Foley has turned down the FAI's job offer
John Foley has turned down the FAI's job offer

Aidan Fitzmaurice

THE FAI have suffered another blow, and are today without a lead official in charge of the association, as the incoming General Manager John Foley has decided not to take up the post because of what he saw as a lack of support.

Noel Mooney had been working as an interim CEO, with the title of General Manager, on a six-month secondment from UEFA but his time with the FAI ended after Saturday's draw in Romania for the Euro 2020 finals. Former Athletics Ireland official Foley had been lined up to replace Mooney while the embattled FAI look for a long-term CEO, although his past association with the FAI and former CEO John Delaney from his time on a National League committee, had raised questions.

But he today stated that he will not be moving to Abbotstown.

"I was approached by the FAI and was pleased to consider bringing my experience in business and sport to the Association for a short period as Interim CEO while a permanent CEO is being recruited," he said in a statement issued to RTE.

"I had a number of meetings and discussions with FAI representatives over the past number of weeks and was happy to help the organisation face the challenges ahead.

"I believe there will be a need for leadership particularly for the staff in what will be a challenging time for all. The most critical issues for the Association over the coming months will be strong leadership, organisational change and financial stability.

"I also know that the FAI has a wide range of key stakeholders who contribute to the running of the game and the financial well-being of the Association and that the full,support of these stakeholders is vital.

"Ultimately, it was not clear that the support for my appointment across key stakeholders was at the level required for me to succeed on delivering on the huge challenges to be faced by the Association in the coming months.

"Therefore I have decided no to take up the role of Interim CEO. I wish the staff, board, volunteers and players at all levels every best wish for the future."

An FAI statement read: "The Board of the FAI notes with great regret John Foley's decision not to accept the role of Interim CEO with the Football Association of Ireland.

"Throughout our dealings with John, his suitability for the role was beyond question and the level of professionalism and clarity he could bring to the Association would have been invaluable.

"John's experience and influence will be especially missed by our staff who would have benefitted greatly from his arrival.

"The Board of the FAI will meet to discuss the next steps."

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