Thursday 22 August 2019

Next CEO ought to be more low profile, review told

John Delaney has become a household name during his tenure at the helm of the FAI. Photo: Gerry Mooney
John Delaney has become a household name during his tenure at the helm of the FAI. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Interviews conducted as part of a review of FAI governance saw a suggestion emerge that the incoming CEO need not have such a high profile.

John Delaney has become a household name during his tenure at the helm of the association and is known for travelling regularly to clubs around the country.

He is often profiled in the media and has been appointed to Uefa, making him well known in international footballing circles too.

In recent years, he has become a focal point for fans unhappy with the state of the game in Ireland, with the confiscation of banners calling for him to be removed causing a stir a few years back.

The Jonathan Hall review notes that the "current chief executive position was now high profile and that was largely due to the approach and style of the current person".

According to the review, "some expressed the view that a new chief executive may not need to be as high-profile and could be supported in any public elements of the role by others, eg, at ambassadorial events".

Click to view full size graphic
Click to view full size graphic

The suggestion does not make it into the final recommendations of the report and it is not clear who raised the idea that the incoming replacement for Mr Delaney could adopt a less high-profile approach to the job.

But the report does note that Mr Delaney's view should be sought in the recruitment of his replacement - but that he should not sit on the board committee leading the recruitment process.

Rea Walshe has taken up the position of interim CEO ahead of a search for a new person for the job.

The report suggests that, given the FAI's relationship with Sport Ireland, the organisation should consider asking a representative of the authority or of Government to play a part in the hiring of a new CEO.

Mr Delaney's replacement should be "recruited through an open and transparent process in order to find the best-suited person for the role", the report notes.

It goes on to say: "It will also be essential to be very clear about which aspects the role will be expected to focus on and conversely those which it will not (eg, those being overseen by the executive vice-president)", to avoid any misunderstanding.

Irish Independent

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