Statement on FAI governance 8 months ago

Statement on FAI governance

On Sunday night, ahead of the Three FAI International Awards, the Football Association of Ireland released a statement.

The statement, in full below, was with regards to FAI governance and a bridging loan from 2017.

It reads:

In February 2017, the Football Association of Ireland formed a Governance Committee and arising from the work of this committee, a number of key reforms have taken place in the past 25 months.

These include changes to the FAI Board structures in July 2018 with the appointment of Niamh O’Donoghue, revisions to the FAI’s Executive management team in 2018 and 2019, the introduction of a number of policied and procedures and, more recently, an EGM was held in the Code of Good Governance, which is endorsed by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to the Board’s structures and terms. These changes have been applied two years ahead of the Department’s deadline.

In continuing its governance reviews, at the FAI’s most recent Board meeting earlier in March, a full review of the FAI’s executive governance and senior management structures by an external consultant was also commissioned by the Board with the report and recommendations expected in early April.

The emphasis of the FAI’s Board on its governance structures and processes since 2017 has been driven by the organisation itself to ensure the FAI operates to all appropriate standards required of the Association and as part of the Association’s commitment to comply with the Code of Good Governance within the timeline set out in the National Sports Policy.

Commenting on the latest element of the governance reviews, CEO John Delaney said:

“It was agreed at our last Board meeting that we should undertake a full review of our management and operational structures and procedures at senior executive level.

“This is a direct response to the changing demands facing a national governing body. The process is underway and we have a blueprint for the future in early April.

“This is something we want to do and we are ready to do. The Board members and the senior management in Abbotstown have already taken part in this procedure.

“This latest review will future proof Irish football and we will embrace the recommendations.”

CEO Delaney has also expanded on his statement released last Saturday night regarding a bridging loan that he made to the Association to deal with a short-term cash flow issue in April 2017.

This loan was repaid in full by the FAI to Delaney in June that year.

“I have already commented on the reasons behind the loan. I acted in the best interests of the Association at a time when immediate funding was needed.

“This loan had no impact on the full financial position or performance of the Association for the year. It was a matter of timing.

“The monies received from Euro 2016 were utilised in that year’s budgets as outlined in the financial report to the 2017 AGM.

“As CEO, I hold regular meeting with our Director of Finance regarding the state of our finances and all items arising are conveyed to our Board at our monthly meetings.

“This was the case in 2017 when I acted in good faith for the benefit of the FAI and will continue to do so.”

A full media conference will be held in early April to discuss the organisational review.