The FAI’s AGM is two weeks away from tomorrow but an early indication of the mood of the Association in passing or rejecting the reforms from the Governance Review Group will take place in only eight days at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel in Meath.
The Association confirmed last night that this would be the venue for a special EGM to facilitate rule changes required to implement some of the recommendations contained in that report.
The EGM will take place after the Women’s Football Convention taking place at the same venue.
The first phase of the proposed changes to the Constitution of the Association will be presented to the Association’s members at the AGM on July 27th.
AGM Members received a letter of notice concerning the EGM yesterday. The pack outlined the five new committees that will take charge of the effective running of the football side of the Association, operating under a new Football Management Committee.
There were draft terms of reference for these which include a Football Management Committee, an International and High Performance Committee, a Domestic Competitions Committee, a Club and League Development Committee, and an Underage and Player Development Committee.
The 78 recommendations are being presented as one block to delegates on the 27th. If accepted by a two-thirds majority or 140 of the 206 delegates, then the FAI will move into a phase of recovery from the trials and tribulations of the last few months and the heat will go out of the issues that caused the problem.
There will still be the six different investigations and audits underway on the financial side but it will present a road map on how to manage the game while they are being resolved. The Government will be happier and the process of restoring Sport Ireland funding to the most needed programmes will begin as well.
If they are not there will be a fog through which few will be able to see clearly and which could result in the international governing bodies of FIFA and UEFA taking tighter control. There are implications for sponsors, for participation in international competition and for the very heart of the game.
In his other life, Donal Conway was a school principal. It is hoped that the lessons learned in juggling funding, unruly pupils and the importance of getting the job done for the greater good of a community will have steeled him for the persuasion that is now underway.
If he fails, it will be akin to the referee walking off the pitch and leaving the players, fans and anybody else in the ground to figure out themselves what to do next. If they are allowed.