Thursday 22 August 2019

John Delaney supporters say they are not running for vacant FAI Board positions

Denis Cruise and (inset) Gerry Gorman
Denis Cruise and (inset) Gerry Gorman

John Fallon

The shape of the new FAI board will start to become clearer on Wednesday once the deadline for nominees to the vacancies of treasurer and secretary close tomorrow.

The pair of officers, to be voted upon at special council meeting on July 27, will automatically be part of the new board.

Interim chief executive Rea Walshe last night notified members of the election procedure.

The vacancies were created after veteran directors Eddie Murray and Michael Cody resigned from those positions respectively a fortnight ago amid concerns over governance and finances within the organisation.

Sport Ireland have suspended state funding and their auditors Deloitte last week reported the FAI to the Companies Office for failing to keep proper accounting records.

Cody was the only existing board member made aware by John Delaney of a €100,000 loan given to his employers during his time as chief executive in 2017.

Murray says he was kept in the dark until March 4 when Delaney disclosed the information following queries on the matter by The Sunday Times.

All remaining board members have vowed to quit at the annual general meeting in July.

A new governance committee has been formed to review the rules and structures ahead of that summit, chaired by Aidan Horan with another two nominees of Sport Ireland, Dr Moling Ryan and Joe O'Leary.

The FAI are represented by Niamh O'Donoghue and Walshe.

Under the current rules, nominations for treasurer and secretary must be proposed and seconded by April 30.

It has been speculated that FAI junior secretary Denis Cruise is interested in becoming secretary and Gerry Gorman is eyeing the post of treasurer, but both told Independent.ie they are not in the running.

Both are current FAI council members and released statements in support of Delaney before pressure led to him being sent on gardening leave two weeks ago.

An ballot of FAI council will decide the successful candidate if more than one nomination for each position is received.

Walshe's email read: "In partnership with Sport Ireland the FAI has established a Governance Review Group tasked with reviewing the existing governance arrangements within the FAI including advising on Board member/director nomination, election/appointment, term limits and succession planning including through the development of a skills, knowledge, experience and diversity matrix for the Board.

"However, until such time as those recommendations are received and subsequently voted upon by the members at AGM/EGM the current rules apply and subject to the above it is proposed that a Special Council Meeting will be held immediately after the AGM on the 27th July to elect persons to those positions."

Uefa have said they "don't know" whether Delaney will represent them at the under-17 Euro finals hosted by the FAI from Friday.

The Waterford native, under protocol as chairman of the youth committee, would be expected to host a launch on Thursday and present the trophy at the final on May 19.

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