Tuesday 15 October 2019

'It's for a gillie' - Niall Quinn rules himself out of the running to replace John Delaney as CEO of the FAI

Niall Quinn and (inset) John Delaney
Niall Quinn and (inset) John Delaney
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Niall Quinn has ruled himself out of the running to replace John Delaney as CEO of the Football Association of Ireland.

In a shock move On Saturday, it was announced that Delaney was stepping down as the CEO of the FAI and will now take up the role of Executive Vice President.

Chief Operating Officer Rea Walshe has been

The news came just one week after it emerged that he had paid €100,000 to the association in the form of a bridging loan back in 2017. Another report in the Sunday Times yesterday revealed Delaney's €3k-a-month rent is paid for by the FAI.

"Under absolutely no circumstances will I be applying for the job, given the current remit of where this job sits," Quinn said on Virgin Media this evening.

"I don't think it reads as a CEO role at all. I think it reads as half a CEO role and anyone going in there will have a huge shadow over them because the departing CEO hasn't departed at all and it would make life very very difficult.

"Quite frankly I think it's a little bit of a charade, given the scrutiny that was in place over the last week. The rush of the appointment, the unanimous decision of the board to tell us all late on a Saturday night in the middle of some serious scrutiny on the CEO at that time, that this was great for the association and it was a great move and everyone should back it.  

"We are not buying it, I'm not buying it. I think it's an ill-conceived decision that needs to be looked at again, in my opinion.

"I will say it again, it's a half a CEO role and it's a role, if it stays in its current remit, it's for a gillie."

The FAI statement confirming Delaney's move said that the changes were a consequence of a governance review that was commissioned in February and undertaken by sports governance expert Jonathan Hall Associates, and their principal Jonathan Hall, who is a former Director of Governance and Director of Football Services with the English FA.

In an FAI statement, the duties Delaney will have as Executive Vice President were explained:

"The new role of Executive Vice-President would be a specific defined role with responsibility for a range of international matters and special projects on behalf of the FAI. It is envisaged that the current CEO would step into this new role. This would allow Irish football to continue to benefit from his extensive football experience and contacts across Europe and the rest of the world."

The report adds: "A new Chief Executive should be recruited to be responsible for all the other issues typically overseen by a Chief Executive of a national association. The new Chief Executive would assume responsibility for leading and managing the executive team at the FAI with appropriate executive support being provided to the Executive Vice-President to carry out the role. Both roles should be clearly defined and would report into the Board.

"The new Chief Executive and the Executive Vice-President would need to work closely together in a collaborative manner in line with the updated strategy established by the new Chief Executive and agreed by the Board."

Quinn says that no CEO will have the drive to go in under such circumstances.

"How can you go in there with this great vision? In any other company in the world a CEO can make great decisions about the association or the organisation they are in. With the departing CEO not departing at all and taking responsibility for some of the more prettier roles in terms of heading off to UEFA. It just doesn't sit right.

"He has been around a long time, he has done it, he has had his go. It's probably high time now that a different FAI appear.

"There is one change that needs to be made and John is there 14 years now, worked hard, did what he did, has his critics and has people who swear by him. I think his time is over and it's time for a new wind of change."

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