Monday 24 June 2019

New FAI interim chief Mooney already facing questions over ties to old regime

Pictured from left, Noel Mooney of UEFA, FAI President Donal Conway and FAI Interim Chief Executive Rea Walshe ahead of the UEFA U17 European Championship Final at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Pictured from left, Noel Mooney of UEFA, FAI President Donal Conway and FAI Interim Chief Executive Rea Walshe ahead of the UEFA U17 European Championship Final at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

New FAI chief Noel Mooney is already facing questions about whether his appointment represents enough of a break with the past after the Limerick native was confirmed in a new role at Abbotstown.

Previously a League of Ireland footballer with Limerick, Shamrock Rovers and Cork City, Mooney was on the staff of the FAI in a promotions role before a 2012 move to Uefa.

As part of the bid to salvage the FAI as it undergoes six separate reviews into its financial and governance record, Uefa has agreed to let Mooney move back to Ireland at the helm of the FAI, on a six-month secondment.

His title is 'general manager for football services and partnerships'. As part of the process, interim CEO Rea Walshe reverts to her role as chief operating officer.

Mooney will return to Uefa on November 30, by which time a permanent CEO should be in place. However, some figures in the game, and one major sponsor, have expressed concerns about the Mooney appointment, given that he worked under ex-CEO Delaney in his time as an FAI staffer.

Mooney spoke at the 2017 FAI AGM as a guest of Delaney and has expressed strong support for the Waterford native.

Mr Delaney has been on "gardening leave" from his executive vice-president role since reviews began into the FAI's finances.

Irish Independent

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