John Delaney steps aside as FAI Chief Executive, will take up new role within association
John Delaney has stepped aside from his position as Chief Executive of the Football Association of Ireland.
The FAI released a statement on Saturday evening confirming that it will be adopting a review of its senior management structure, with Delaney moving to a new position of Executive Vice-President with immediate effect.
Delaney, who was in attendance as the Republic of Ireland claimed a 1-0 victory over Gibraltar in the opening game of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, will continue to be responsible for Fifa and Uefa matters, all FAI tournament bidding projects, international relations and support, the John Giles Foundation, membership of the Board of the Aviva Stadium, planning for the centenary of the FAI and the 50th anniversary of women’s football in Ireland in 2023 and a bid to host the UEFA Women’s Champions League final in Dublin.
The structural change comes following a report from sports governance expert Jonathan Hall Associates, who advised that the Board of the FAI should consider creating the role of Executive Vice-President.
The current Chief Operating Officer at the FAI, Rea Walsh, will act as interim CEO until the full time role of CEO is filled.
FAI President Donal Conway said: "The Board of the FAI engaged Jonathan Hall to work on this report as, together with the CEO, we have recognised for some time past the need for a review of our senior management structure.
"We have now adopted the recommendations of Jonathan Hall’s report and will begin the process to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer. John Delaney will take on the new role of Executive Vice-President immediately with the full backing of the Board.
"On behalf of the Board and the members of the Association I want to thank John for everything he has done for the FAI and for Irish football. He has transformed how we operate as an Association.
"This new role will allow John to utilise his vast experience and connections in the world of football and will best serve the FAI as we look to the future and our new strategic plan for Irish football which is currently a work in progress.
"John will continue to represent us at UEFA level as we look ahead to next year when the Aviva Stadium will host four games at the EURO 2020 finals thanks to his influence at European level.
"We host the UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals this summer, which will bring 9,000 bed spaces to Dublin, we celebrate the centenaries of the FAI and the SSE Airtricity League early in the new decade and the bi-centenary of the women’s game in Ireland.
"John is already leading our joint-bid with the Irish FA for the UEFA Under-21 Championships in 2023 and is working closely with the FAs in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales on the feasibility of a joint bid for the 2030 World Cup.
"John’s life has been devoted to Irish football and he will bring the same energy, vitality and inspiration to this new role. We will now begin the recruitment process for a new CEO with an expected appointment ahead of our AGM in Trim at the end of July.
"Governance is vitally important to the FAI. We appointed a governance committee in 2017 and have made a number of changes to our rules in compliance with the Governance Code.
"The Board of the Football Association of Ireland is happy to meet with the Department to discuss these changes and would also welcome the opportunity to update Sport Ireland and the Oireachtas Committee on Sport on our new senior management structure.
"Rea Walshe has been central to our governance policy and the Board wishes her well in her interim role as Chief Executive Officer."