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FAI confirm appointment of three new independent directors

A fourth external board member will be appointed in the coming weeks.

A view of FAI offices.
A view of FAI offices.

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION of Ireland have tonight confirmed the appointment of three independent directors to their board of management, with a fourth independent director to be appointed “in the coming weeks.” 

Roy Barrett, Managing Director of Goodbody Stockbrokers, has been appointed to the role of independent chairperson and has been joined on the board by Catherine Guy and Liz Joyce. 

Ms. Guy took up a role as CEO of Autolease Fleet Management Limited in September 2019, having spent six years as Managing Partner with ByrneWallace, one of Ireland’s largest law firms. Ms Joyce, meanwhile, is Director of Human Resources at the Central Bank of Ireland.

“I have decided to take on the role of Non-Executive Chairman of the FAI at this critical time because I believe the organisation has an important role to play in developing the game at every level in Ireland”, said Mr. Barrett. 

“There is a serious job of work to be done to address the very significant failures which have beset the organisation in terms of its governance and its finances. The new board will now deal with this task with urgency, working collaboratively with its stakeholders.”

The appointment of independent directors to the FAI board was proposed by the Genesis Report of 2002, but was never fulfilled. The FAI’s Governance Review Group recommended last year that there be four independent directors appointed to the board, and that has been made a key part of reform by the government in recent weeks. 

State funding to the FAI remains suspended, and the football body have also approached the government seeking financial support worth €18 million. Minister for Sport Shane Ross is to meet with European governing body Uefa along with the FAI’s banking partner next week in a bid to solve the financial crisis at the FAI, whose liabilities are estimated at €62 million. 

In a statement, Minister Ross welcomed the arrival of the independent directors, saying he is “looking forward to a fresh, constructive dialogue opening between the new FAI and the government. The board will now be fully refreshed with the entire old guard removed.” 

President Donal Conway is the only remaining board member from John Delaney’s tenure as Chief Executive, and he is stepping down from the role at an EGM on 25 January. 

Minister of State Brendan Griffin added that “it is clear to me that the required competence is now in place which will allow us to consider how best to help the FAI to move on.”

Donal Conway also welcomed the appointment of the independent directors. 

“This is another milestone in the reform of the FAI and I am delighted to welcome Roy Barrett, Catherine Guy and Liz Joyce to the Board at this critical juncture.

“Roy, Catherine and Liz are outstanding candidates with skillsets which will bring real strengths to the Board. The appointment of an Independent Chairperson and Independent Directors is a significant step for the Association as it looks to restore public and government confidence in Irish football.

“I wish our new Chairperson and Independent Directors well and I would like to thank the Nominations Committee, Amrop and Sport Ireland for their work in getting the Association to this point.” 

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Gavin Cooney

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