New Directors of the FAI are Known But Only to a Few

The new independent Chair of the FAI and the three Directors that will accompany him or her from outside the inner circle of the sport are currently poring over what is in the public domain about the FAI finances and governance.

Their identity is still known only to themselves and an inner circle of advisers at recruitment consultancy Amrop.

Members of the Nominations Committee from the Board of the FAI know their profiles but not their identity. Government officials are similarly in the dark over who they are to protect their reputation should one or all of them decide the job is just too difficult given the undoubted problems that exist in terms of its funding and structure and the heat of public and political scrutiny that has already put off a number from stepping up to help.

It is likely that an appointment is imminent, certainly within days if not even sooner and that will help to unlock the Gordian knot that is strangling any meaningful progress at the moment.

Discussions with the Association bankers Bank of Ireland are continuing over restructuring and with the presence in the background of UEFA not quite as a guarantor but certainly, as a well-funded parent, those will most likely come to a satisfactory conclusion as well.

The noise around splitting the FAI in two and taking the grassroots side of the game basically under national Government funding would probably make sense in banking terms by taking the loss-making and more societal side of the game out of the funding mix.

As we outlined forcefully yesterday though, it cannot make the best sense from a Government or indeed a football perspective to have both sides relying on each other and unsecured annual funding from taxpayer money which is more than three times what was provided and needed to run over the past number of years.

Without a defined structure or responsibility as part of a wider sporting organisation, who would administer the money and how much of it would go towards paying for the administration of itself as opposed to directly being invested in clubs.

Anyway, the fact that it is out there and being given oxygen by politicians and media commentators then it will continue to be a distraction.

The main event though remains the appointment of the independents. They will now make up four of the eleven positions filled. John Earley resigned last night. He was the last of the old board to step down following the decision of Donal Conway to do likewise once his successor was appointed out of the small electorate of the FAI Council at a special EGM in January.

Until then he still sits on the Board alongside Paul Cooke as deputy President and Executive Lead, Dick Shakespeare and Martin Hegarty representing the National League clubs, John Finnegan and Dave Moran representing Amateur Football and Joe O’Brien.

Today is a day ending in a ‘y’ so expect more to emerge as the clock ticks by.

Read More: The Challenges Facing the Splitters

Image Credit: Flickr

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