Foley Decision Casts Pall over FAI

The FAI has been plunged into further crisis with the news breaking this morning that John Foley has turned down the position of Interim CEO.

The former Chief Executive of Athletics Ireland had been expected to take up the role this morning and to steer the Association through the coming months as the search for a permanent CEO gets underway after the conclusion of a number of external reports and the appointment of four independent Directors.

Noel Mooney has returned to his desk in Geneva today following a six month period in the role. The FAI has said in a statement that the Board will now meet to discuss a course of action.

That may include the stepping back into the role as interim CEO by Rea Walshe who held the role between the departure of John Delaney and the appointment of Mooney.

In a statement issued to RTÉ this morning, John Foley outlined the reasons for his not taking up the role.

“I was approached by the FAI and was pleased to consider bringing my experience in business and sport to the Association for a short period as Interim CEO while a permanent CEO is being recruited.

“I had a number of meetings and discussions with FAI representatives over the past number of weeks and was happy to help the organisation face the challenges ahead.

“I believe there will be a need for leadership particularly for the staff in what will be a challenging time for all. The most critical issues for the Association over the coming months will be strong leadership, organisational change and financial stability.

“I also know that the FAI has a wide range of key stakeholders who contribute to the running of the game and the financial well-being of the Association and that the full support of these stakeholders is vital.

“Ultimately, it was not clear that the support for my appointment across key stakeholders was at the level required for me to succeed on delivering on the huge challenges to be faced by the Association in the coming months.

“Therefore I have decided no to take up the role of Interim CEO. I wish the staff, board, volunteers and players at all levels every best wish for the future.”

The FAI statement that followed said it “notes with great regret John Foley’s decision not to accept the role of Interim CEO. Throughout our dealings with John, his suitability for the role was beyond question and the level of professionalism and clarity he could bring to the Association would have been invaluable.”

The Board was due to meet this week to sign off on the restated accounts for 2017 and 2018 and to set a date for the reconvening of the AGM which was thought to have been likely for December 28th.

Everything is now back in play.

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