The National Council of the Football Association of Ireland met on Friday and was updated on a number of the issues facing Irish football at the moment.
It also elected six members to three new Business Committees, formed as per the recommendations of the Governance Review Group.
Larry Bass, pictured above, CEO of global television company ShinAwil and Chairman of Cabinteely FC; and Andrew Doyle, CEO of Sal Sports Capital, co-owner of Shelbourne Football Club and a lawyer with over 30-years experience, will bring their commercial experience to the Finance Committee.
Noel Daly, qualified in change management and risk assessment, and Sean Brodie, a partner in one of the biggest global accountancy firms in Dublin and with over 20-years audit experience with the Revenue Commissioners, were elected unopposed to the Audit Risk and Compliance Committee.
Daniel Lambert, business owner and Marketing and Commercial Director with Bohemians FC, and Kevin McDaid, a qualified chartered accountant who holds an MBA in Football Industries from the University of Liverpool, have been elected to the Commercial Committee.
Their appointment does mark a strengthening of the business acumen needed to bring the FAI into line with conventional best practice, though it has to be noted it does little to address the balance of gender at the highest levels of the game.
A number of other key updates were given to the council and made public as follows:
The Board of the FAI expects to receive the Sport Ireland commissioned independent audit from Kosi later this month. The FAI has co-operated fully with Kosi’s audit and looks forward to receiving their report.
Mazars have indicated that their initial report, commissioned by the FAI as an independent review, will be available towards the end of November.
Appointment of Independent Non-Executive Directors
The Board has been informed by global recruitment firm Amrop that a short-list of candidates for the appointment of four Independent Non-Executive Directors, including an Independent Chairperson, is now complete. The final stage of this process is now the responsibility of the Nominations Committee and is expected to be completed within a number of weeks.
Deloitte are on-site at FAI Headquarters as they finalise their audit of the 2018 accounts and revised 2017 accounts which are now expected to be available to present to a re-convened AGM in late November/early December.
The FAI has now submitted tens of thousands of documents to the ODCE and continues to co-operate fully with their investigation. The most recent production of 10,048 documents includes two documents containing legal advice which the FAI have sought privilege on. The ODCE application regarding this privilege will now be heard by the High Court on November 14th.
The FAI will accept an invitation to appear before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport when various reports currently being undertaken are complete. The Board confirmed to Council that 27 of the GRG recommendations have now been implemented. A Governance Implementation Oversight Group, including three external nominees, has been formed and has met. The Internal Implementation Group has also met.
The FAI is in regular contact with Sport Ireland. The FAI is cognisant of the Government’s desire to see reforms introduced before funding is restored and remains confident that significant milestones in this regard will be reached in the coming weeks. The FAI also expects the incoming Independent Chairperson to take on a significant role in relationships with Sport Ireland and Government.
Busy weeks ahead and hopefully positive ones, even if there will be some considerable pain along the way in terms of exposing what has been going on at the Association over recent times.