Sunday 16 December 2018

'There's nobody from the professional game' - Ireland legend Liam Brady calls for a change in the make-up of the FAI board

Liam Brady (inset) believes Irish football has regressed under John Delaney
Liam Brady (inset) believes Irish football has regressed under John Delaney Newsdesk Newsdesk

Liam Brady has called for people with knowledge of the professional game to be appointed to the board of the Football Association of Ireland.

None of the 11 members of the FAI board of management have ever played, or been involved in, professional football.

Most have developed their experience in junior football and the schoolboy game.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One this morning, the former Ireland and Arsenal legend said that there should be a change in the composition of the board and an emphasis on the development of top class international players.

"What worries me above anything else is the lack of players we have coming through," Brady said.

"I'm not an expert with what's going on in that regard with the FAI but I know whatever has gone on, it hasn't worked. We're simply not seeing the talent that we once had in the years gone past. The likes of Damien Duff, Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne, Shay Given; all top class players in England.

"We haven't replaced them with anybody of the same quality. There has to be a reason for that. I don't really understand why someone like Brian Kerr is not involved in youth development when he had such an unbelievable track record in it.

"Then you look at the board of the FAI who are responsible for the game in the country and there's nobody from the professional game, from what I can see, there's nobody that has played football professionally, neither in England or at international level, or even League of Ireland level, there's just no representation and that can't be right."

Brady argued that the timing of the departure of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane was wrong.

"I would have argued against it to be quite honest. I think this Nations League was a preparatory competition for the Euros coming up and I think Martin O'Neill did give a lot of new caps to players to find out what he had at his disposal," he added.

"I know the results were bad and the performances were bad but it came on the back of a year when we lost terribly to Denmark.

"We saw a lot of empty spaces at the game against Northern Ireland and that pushed the FAI into doing what they done."

'We've regressed badly' - Liam Brady takes aim at John Delaney over Irish football's current woes

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