Thursday 24 October 2019

Leinster Senior League call for Cooke to start treasurer role ahead of time

The FAI said last month that
The FAI said last month that "subject to the current governance review, elections for these positions will be held at a Special Council Meeting following the AGM on July 27". (stock picture)

Aidan Fitzmaurice and Daniel McDonnell

The chairman of the Leinster Senior League has called for Paul Cooke - the sole candidate for the vacant post of FAI treasurer - to be brought on to the association's board of directors at a meeting next week.

Dave Moran wants Cooke to be brought in on an interim basis at an FAI Council meeting on Wednesday instead of waiting for an election at the AGM in July.

The FAI has been operating without an honorary treasurer or honorary secretary since Eddie Murray and Michael Cody resigned their posts four weeks ago.

Sport Ireland announced yesterday that Northern Irish firm KOSI have been appointed to carry out an "extensive independent audit" of the FAI.

While that review joins ongoing investigations by global auditors Mazars and Grant Thornton, in addition to enquiries from the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), the FAI are planning to hold out until July to appoint a new board.

The association's finance committee - which normally meets ahead of an FAI Council gathering with the treasurer as chair - will not be convening this month.

Council delegate Moran will use next week's summit to call for an interim appointment as treasurer.

Cooke, a qualified chartered accountant and former representative of Waterford United on the FAI Council, is the only candidate for that position while Gerry McAnaney and ex-FAI finance director Tony Dignam will contest the post for secretary.

Positions

The FAI said last month that "subject to the current governance review, elections for these positions will be held at a Special Council Meeting following the AGM on July 27".

Moran says that the FAI cannot afford to wait 11 weeks for that AGM and he has called for Cooke to be drafted on to the board as interim honorary treasurer.

Cooke has had no official contact from the FAI since he was nominated unopposed last week.

"There is a vacancy there now and it makes sense to have Paul Cooke on the board now," Moran told the Irish Independent.

"It's worrying that we have a board and no one with an accounting background there. We need to look forward, to look at the business side of FAI affairs."

"Paul is a chartered accountant with vast experience in the business world and I will ask next Wednesday for Paul to be added to the board as soon as possible as we cannot afford to wait. He has been nominated unopposed for treasurer and he has the skill-set to do the job.

"I met (FAI president) Donal Conway in Abbotstown and I told him that they needed to get professional help in now.

"For the sake of the staff they need to know that there is a proper business leader in there to look after them as they are worried about getting paid, and that is shocking."

The Leinster FA hold 10 seats on the 61-person council which will convene at noon on Wednesday.

Sport Ireland's appointment of KOSI has added to the scrutiny on the FAI. A statement from the statutory body said the KOSI team will be made up of senior auditors including a forensic accountant.

Irish Independent

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