Monday 26 August 2019

'We need a new dawn' - Niall Quinn calls for an end to the days of a ‘celebrity’ CEO at the FAI

Niall Quinn
Niall Quinn
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Niall Quinn believes Irish rugby chief Philip Browne should be given a voice in shaping the future of the Football Association of Ireland, as he again ruled himself out of the running to replace John Delaney as the face of the organisation.

Former Republic of Ireland striker Quinn has called for a new CEO to be given ‘a real mandate’ for change at the FAI amid the ongoing crisis that has enveloped the organisation, as he insisted change is now essential.

Former Sunderland chairman Quinn has been linked with a key role in a revamped FAI set-up, but he has again insisted he is not the right man to be the new face of Irish soccer as he nominated Browne to bring his expertise from rugby into football.

“This is a job for a brilliant hard working person with the right qualifications to get the job done and I would love to see Philip Browne being given a chance to do that,” Quinn told Independent.ie in an exclusive interview.

“We should take a real close at the success of rugby in Ireland and plead with Philip Browne to put some of his knowledge of running a massive and successful sporting organisation into football.

“Reading about it in the last few weeks, days in day out, has been painful and I would stand by my previous view that the notion that the CEO has stepped down from his role is nonsense. I’d suggest he hasn’t stepped down at all and something has to change now.

“It’s pretty sad when the largest participation sport in Ireland has its funding withheld by Sport Ireland. There will be no joy in seeing changes now as too much damage has been done here and this is not a time to celebrate new faces come in, but we need a new dawn now and someone coming in with a real mandate for change.”

Quinn went on to reiterate his belief that he not the right man to rebuild the FAI’s battered reputation, after suggesting the days of the organisation being led by a ‘celebrity’ CEO need to end.

“I have said that this is not a job for me and I stand by that,” added Quinn. “This is not the time for a celebrity CEO. This is a job for a brilliant hard working person with the right qualifications to get the job done.

“The association needs a reboot, the League of Ireland needs to be moved up the agenda of importance and we need to look at opening up pathways for new players,

“I’d welcome someone with a ten year plan and a vision to change the image of Irish soccer. They need to go in a reenergise that organisation and give it a boost behind closed doors.

“I look forward to a day when we have a robust and insightful CEO who is in there doing great work and re-establishing trust in the organisation.”

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