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FAI say CEO Hill's failure to relocate permanently to Ireland is a 'non-issue'

Jonathan Hill was appointed CEO of the FAI in November 2020, but has yet to move to Ireland on a full-time basis.

FAI Chairperson Roy Barrett (left) with Chief Executive Jonathan Hill.
FAI Chairperson Roy Barrett (left) with Chief Executive Jonathan Hill.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

FAI CHAIRMAN Roy Barrett says the fact CEO Jonathan Hill has not relocated to Ireland since taking the job is a “non-issue.” 

The Sunday Times recently revealed Hill has yet to relocate to Ireland since assuming the post in November 2020, and that the FAI have been paying for flights and hotel accommodation for their CEO on his visits. There is nothing improper about Hill’s availing of these expenses. 

Hill has also not drawn down any part of a relocation fund worth a reported €30,000, made available by the FAI when he was given the job. 

Barrett insists his CEO’s decision not to move to Ireland is not a problem. 

“From my perspective it’s a bit of a non-issue, really”, said Barrett. “When I look at it, and I have the benefit of working closest with Jonathan given my role, I would much prefer to have a really good Chief Executive who is very effective and productive and has a really work ethic. All of that and the outcomes from all of that are an awful lot more important than simply presenteeism and where they are located. And the world has changed. 

“There was [initially] a relocation [fund] as Jonathan didn’t live in Ireland, so in terms of the arrangement we came to at that time and where we find ourselves now, in the knowledge that we have had a pandemic and that circumstances have changed, I am very comfortable with the arrangements in place with Jonathan.

“There is an awful lot of oversight within the organisation and on remuneration within that. We have a CEO who has been with us for 14 months, who is doing a very good job and delivering on all of the agendas we have set for him to date. He has my full support and the board’s full support.” 

Hill explained he has not moved his family to Ireland because his children are being educated in England, but said he intends to work out of his Dublin office, though without committing to how often a week he intends to do so, instead saying the “majority” of his working days would be spent in Dublin. 

Speaking at the launch of the FAI’s Strategic Plan for 2022-2025, Hill said, “At the moment and off the back of the pandemic, the way in which people work has changed over the last 18 months. I’ve had hundreds of Zoom calls and Teams calls. For me, the most important thing is not where I do my work, it is how I do my work, and the outcomes from that work. I think I have been working pretty hard to understand what I need to understand from Irish football to be able to produce this type of document – which I believe is important – and speaking to as many people as I can, meeting them as often as I can, and getting to as many League of Ireland matches as I can.

“I’m comfortable I’ve done everything I could have done in relation to my role to now.

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“I will be here and I will be very close to this office so I can be here on a very regular basis.”

Barrett refused to be drawn on any further details of Hill’s relocation package, declining to answer when asked if the funds have been diverted elsewhere given Hill has yet to relocate.

 

The full FAI strategic document can be read here.  

 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney  / reports from FAI HQ, Abbottstown

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