Friday 24 January 2020

Niall Quinn rules himself out of FAI CEO role - but open to other positions in the Association

Niall Quinn has ruled himself out of FAI CEO role
Niall Quinn has ruled himself out of FAI CEO role
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Niall Quinn has definitively ruled himself out of the vacant role of FAI CEO but admitted he would be open to a role helping out the organisation after his associate Roy Barrett was appointed as chair of the board.

Barrett - the managing director of Goodbody Stockbrokers - was one of the three independent directors appointed last night along with Catherine Guy and Liz Joyce.

Earlier this year, he was part of Quinn's 'Visionary Group' that came together to look at solutions for the League of Ireland.

Quinn feels that the arrival of the trio could be a 'turning point' and has said he would be willing to help out in some capacity.

But he has ruled himself out of the running to become the next chief executive, asserting that he doesn't have the right attributes for the role.

"I have said that all along, I said this months ago, that I would love to help out but this doesn't need what I can offer as a CEO," said Quinn, speaking at the Virgin Media Television spring launch in Dublin.

"It needs a restructuring expert, and somebody who can go in and really give government confidence that the administrative side of the business is back in great shape again and that's going to take some time.

"I've no idea who or what might end up doing it. If there's a role I can be used in, in a capacity that somehow brings trust from all of the stakeholders, be it from the commercial world or from the grassroots or the elite game in this country - that I can come in and champion and use what skillsets I have, I would gladly do it."

Quinn said he was heartened by reports from the recent AGM in Citywest which - in his view - reflected there was an acknowledgement within the existing FAI power bases that change was necessary.

However, he asserted that the FAI remains in a dire financial predicament and therefore the immediate priority is thrashing out a deal with the government, the banks and UEFA to provide security about the future.

"It's a real turning point but it's only just one day in time and the problem of technical insolvency still lingers about," he said. "There's still a lot of work to do.

"It switches now to I think a better narrative and I hope government, UEFA and the banks feel there is a new way about to happen and that they can support it.

"It's a real new dawn for the FAI and it's amazing that the skillsets (of the three new directors) will be in there now helping the current board members.

"The Governance Review Group board (appointed last July in Trim when Donal Conway was returned as President) - I thought that wasn't enough, but now the board members seem absolutely intent on change and they will led by independent directors with skillsets that haven't been in the FAI before and I have great confidence in that."

A fourth new independent director will be appointed in the coming weeks once they tie up some personal business.

Quinn confirmed that he isn't that individual.

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