Wednesday 13 November 2019

FAI president Donal Conway to stay in position until next summer, Noel Mooney set for UEFA return

FAI General Manager Noel Mooney during a FAI Council Meeting at FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
FAI General Manager Noel Mooney during a FAI Council Meeting at FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

FAI President Donal Conway has indicated that he plans to stay in his position until his term ends next summer.

There had been speculation that Conway might step down from his role when the Association's accounts for 2018 are belatedly presented at the end of November or beginning of December.

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However, speaking at a press conference after an FAI Council meeting today, Conway said that he planned to see out the remainder of the 12 month term that was approved by members in the summer.

Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport Shane Ross would prefer if Conway departed immediately.

He has voiced that criticism in the context of the suspension of state funds to the troubled football body after a turbulent year.

Ross also opposed the return of interim general manager Noel Mooney on a short term arrangement.

FAI President Donal Conway during a FAI Council Meeting press conference at FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
FAI President Donal Conway during a FAI Council Meeting press conference at FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

He will return to UEFA at the end of November and Conway said today that the FAI may have to look at another interim boss as they are not yet in a position to appoint a chief executive to replace John Delaney.

"Based on the endorsement of the members, I am a member of an interim board until July 2020," said Conway, who acknowledged some people would want him to walk now.

"I know the Minister's disposition. I understand he wants to see the highest levels of governance and ensures that taxpayers money goes to an association that operates the highest levels of governance. I felt I could be of some use sitting on this interim board."

The delay in beginning the process to replace Delaney is due to the slow process of finding four independent directors to fill the remaining four slots on the FAI board.

A nominations committee to make those appointments has now been agreed upon. Recruitment firm Amrop have driven the process and they have put forward Christina Kenny to go on the committee along with Conway, FAI board member Dick Shakespeare and Sport Ireland nominees Peter McLoone and Olive Loughnane (the retired Irish athlete).

The FAI hope to accelerate that process across what promises to be a busy month in November.

A Sport Ireland commissioned audit by Northern Irish firm KOSI is now due in mid-November. The FAI commissioned report from Mazars is now expected at the end of November.

The hold-up in the KOSI report arose from news of John Delaney's resignation in September and the agreement of a severance package. KOSI sought details on the terms of that arrangement.

At a meeting today in Abbotstown, TV executive Larry Bass - a leading light with Cabinteely FC - was voted onto the FAI's Finance Committee along with Shelbourne's Andrew Doyle.

Bass said: " The only way to get anything done is to get involved, the finances have been well publicised and it needs help and attention.I believe in getting shit done."

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