Tuesday 20 August 2019

Path clear for Conway to extend stay as FAI president

Incumbent to stand unopposed for one year extension as part of interim solution

FAI President Donal Conway. Photo: Sportsfile
FAI President Donal Conway. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The FAI have confirmed that Donal Conway will run unopposed in his bid to remain president for another year.

Conway indicated last month that he was putting himself forward as part of the interim solution recommended by the Governance Review Group report into the FAI's structures.

That blueprint suggested that up to two existing FAI board members should stay on for 12 months as part of a handover process.

Previously, the remaining members of the board had indicated they would all step down at the AGM on July 27 after a turbulent period for the association.

The new governance proposals - which will be voted on by members at an EGM this Saturday - recommended the stopgap solution as part of the transition. Conway has taken a central role in selling the reform plans to the wider FAI membership.

Sport Ireland are due to appear in front of the Oireachtas again tomorrow and their chief executive John Treacy has reiterated that the FAI membership's endorsement of the reform proposals is one of the conditions necessary for the restoration of state funding.

There will be an election for vice-president as incumbent Noel Fitzroy has been challenged by Gerry McAnaney and Paul Cooke.

McAnaney and Cooke had previously gained the necessary backing to stand for the positions of honorary secretary and honorary treasurer but those roles are set to be abolished if the governance reforms are passed.

Treacy will tell the Oireachtas Committee that FIFA and UEFA endorsement of the reform plans has reassured Sport Ireland.

He has also addressed the opposition within football circles to elements of the proposals, which has raised fears that the FAI will struggle to get the necessary votes to introduce the reforms.

Schoolboys chief John Earley resigned from the FAI board after they lost their guaranteed seat at the top table.

Tweaks to that plan have been discussed.

Treacy’s statement says: “It is natural for reluctance to change and reform to exist among some groups when bringing about any change.

“We respect the autonomy of such groups, however it is of vital importance that they reflect on the current situation.”

Sport Ireland will also confirm they have agreed amendments to their terms and conditions for grant funding. This includes making it a condition for all national governing bodies to provide details of the full remuneration packages for their chief executive (or equivalent positions) to Sport Ireland.

Irish Independent

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