Sunday 15 September 2019

Revealed: Details of the report that suggested the FAI should create 'Executive Vice-President' role for John Delaney

John Delaney. Photo: Sportsfile
John Delaney. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

The report that suggested the FAI should create the role of Executive Vice-President has been made available to the Oireachtas committee ahead of Wednesday's hearing.

A number of senior FAI officials, including former CEO John Delaney,  are due to appear before the Oireachtas committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport on Wednesday where they are expected to face questions on governance issues and a €100,000 bridging loan given to the association by Delaney in 2017.

An 18-page report commissioned by the FAI and carried out by Jonathan Hall Associates into governance at the association was given to the committee today.

The report - seen by - came to the conclusion that a new position should be created within the association.

"Following extensive internal consultation and feedback, the Report’s key recommendation is that the FAI Board consider creating a new role of Executive Vice-President and start the process of recruiting a new Chief Executive in order to put itself in the best position possible for the strategic period ahead," it read.

"The new role of Executive Vice-President should be a specific defined role with responsibility for a range of international matters and special projects on behalf of the FAI. It is envisaged that the current Chief Executive would step into this new role which would also allow him to retain his membership of the UEFA Executive Committee and for the FAI and Irish football to continue to benefit from his extensive football experience across Europe and the rest of the world.

"A new Chief Executive should be recruited to be responsible for all the other issues typically overseen by a Chief Executive of a national association including the important issues of planning and delivering an updated strategy, development of the game in Ireland, the League of Ireland, the international teams, overall commercial, digital and marketing activity, embracing new technology, use of data and insight, brand development, governance, managing the executive team and FAI finances.

"The new Chief Executive would assume responsibility for leading and managing the executive team at the FAI with appropriate executive support being provided to the Executive Vice-President to enable him to carry out his role."

The report outlined 10 recommendations for the overhaul of governance structures at the association.

On the issue of recruitment for he Executive Vice-President and CEO positions, the report said that 'no recruitment process was envisaged' for the Executive Vice-President position but the new CEO should be brought in following an 'open and transparent process'.

"The creation of the Executive Vice-President role is being suggested to ensure that the FAI can continue to benefit from all the personal contacts and networks that the current Chief Executive has built up around the world and no recruitment process is envisaged for that role as it is designed as a role for the current Chief Executive to transfer into.

"It will be important to agree the changes (to the role, salary/package etc) in a new employment contract with the current Chief Executive in line with Irish employment law requirements.

"On the other hand, it is important that the new Chief Executive is recruited through an open and transparent process in order to find the best suited person for the role. A job description should be drawn up along with a person specification describing clearly the role and the personal attributes required. 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 (e.g. those being overseen by the Executive Vice-President). In this way there should be no misunderstanding for anyone applying for the new Chief Executive role as to what the role entails."

The report also outlined a possible timeframe for making the changes, including making the announcement of the new role on March 23, the date of the Republic of Ireland's opening Euro 2020 qualifier with Gibraltar.

"A possible outline timeframe is:

"22 March – Board meeting to consider the Report and decide on the way forward

"23 March – potential announcement on the way forward

"April – commence the recruitment process for the new Chief Executive

"April/May/June – recruitment process runs, appointment of new Chief Executive (subject to availability) and formal transfer of current Chief Executive to the new Executive Vice-President role

"July AGM – opportunity for a symbolic handover from the current Chief Executive to the new Chief Executive in front of the members."

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