Paul Cooke confirmed as the sole nominee for role of new FAI treasurer
PAUL COOKE is the sole nominee for the vacancy of new Football Association of Ireland treasurer.
The battle for the secretary’s post is to be between retired army commandant Gerry McAnaney and former FAI financial controller Tony Dignam.
Nominations had to be received by the FAI yesterday.
Cooke, a chartered accountant, has a long association with the game, as a player and board member of his native club, Waterford FC. He holds the distinction of being the last member to ask a question relating to financial matters at a FAI AGM – all of a decade ago.
In the business world, Cooke was a former managing director of the Irish Star newspaper and Sunday Business Post.
He was nominated by Dave Moran from the Leinster Senior League and seconded by Cabinteely FC, the League of Ireland First Division club.
Cooke’s elevation to the role is created by the resignation of Eddie Murray three weeks ago but must be rubberstamped at a special general meeting of the association on July 27. The summit, held in Trim, will take place on the same day as their annual general meeting.
"We want change, we need change, we need to cleanse things at the FAI," Cooke told Independent.ie earlier this week.
"There are a number of reports being conducted into the FAI, we have to let those reports do their work but what's gone on cannot be buried.
"This is a genuine chance to change things at the association, the way it has been run but that opportunity has to be taken, it can't be wasted."
McAnaney’s football background is the Defence Forces, a sector he succeeded in attaining caps for their international players. Based in Cork, he is a close ally of Brian Kerr.
Dignam is the surprise candidate, having in 2014 become the third FAI financial controller to quit the role in the space of four years.
Dignam is currently managing director at The Agile Executive, board member of Paralympics Ireland and coordinates all 40 underage teams at Dublin club Wayside Celtic.
In concluding his speech to members the AGM that year, Dignam talked up the financial governance mechanisms within the organisation. He insisted a plan was in place to ensure the FAI were debt-free by 2020.
Members were informed of the nominations in correspondence by the FAI’s interim chief executive Rea Walshe.
She said: “Subject to the current governance review, elections for these positions will be held at a Special Council Meeting following the AGM on July 27.”
Walshe is one of two FAI delegates on the governance committee. Sport Ireland have three representatives, including the chair, on the five-person forum, a majority which their chief executive John Treacy said earlier this week was “very important”.