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Dublin: -1°C Monday 25 January 2021

Jonathan Hill appointed CEO of the Football Association of Ireland

It’s ‘a turning point for Irish football after the events of the last 18 months,’ says FAI president Gerry McAnaney.

Jonathan Hill is the FAI's new CEO.
Jonathan Hill is the FAI's new CEO.
Image: Colin Bradbury

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION of Ireland has confirmed that Jonathan Hill is its new chief executive officer.

On the recommendation of the association’s nominations committee, Hill’s appointment as John Delaney’s permanent replacement has been unanimously ratified by the FAI’s board.

The 57-year-old Englishman said: “I am truly honoured to be appointed to the role of CEO of the FAI and I am greatly looking forward to working with the staff, the wider football community, our commercial stakeholders and the government moving forward, driving the development of football at every level within Ireland, overseeing the ongoing process of business transformation within the organisation and, of course, facing the challenges that Covid presents for our game.” 

Hill, who’s a former group commercial director for the English FA, “brings a wealth of football and leadership experience to the role”, according to the FAI’s press release.

He has previously served as commercial director of Wembley National Stadium and for the 1996 European Championships, which England hosted.

The FAI’s missive adds: “Jonathan has also worked extensively in the wider sports marketing sector, including with IMG and as CEO for the Laureus World Sports Awards, with proven success in working efficiently in complex multi-stakeholder and business partner environments.”

Amid a turbulent period for Irish football, FAI president Gerry McAnaney believes the appointment of Hill can be a catalyst for positive change.

“Jonathan’s appointment is set to be a turning point for Irish football after the events of the last 18 months and we all wish him well with this new role,” McAnaney said.

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“I would also like to thank interim CEO Gary Owens for his immense contribution and invaluable leadership in his time with us. Gary brought great stability to the FAI over the last 10 months and my hope is that Gary will remain involved with Irish football in some way going forward.”

Interim CEO Gary Owens said: “I really look forward to Jonathan’s arrival and working alongside him in the transition period. I know from experience that he is about to join a really strong team and I want to thank all the staff for the significant progress made and their hard work over the last 10 months.” 

Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, Hill will initially work between London and Dublin when he begins his new role on 1 November. He will relocate to Dublin “as soon as it is safe to do so”, the FAI says.

“On behalf of everyone involved with Irish football and following a full and thorough recruitment process overseen by leading international recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson, I am delighted to welcome Jonathan to the Football Association of Ireland,” added FAI board chairperson Roy Barrett.

“I know Jonathan’s experience in the commercial and football worlds will bring real benefit to the FAI and I look forward to working with him on behalf of all our stakeholders as we build for the future.”

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Paul Dollery

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