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Delaney and FAI critic Paul Cooke to become Association's next Treasurer

There is some considerable change coming to the beleaguered football body.

A general view of the FAI AGM in 2014.
A general view of the FAI AGM in 2014.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

AN OUTSPOKEN CRITIC of John Delaney and the FAI will become the next Honorary Treasurer of the Association. 

The FAI today confirmed that Paul Cooke, an accountant former Managing Director of The Star and the Sunday Business Post newspapers, will run unopposed for the role at July’s AGM. His election to that position is subject to the recommendations returned by the governance review committee.

Cooke worked with John Delaney at Waterford United during the 1990s, and in recent years became a vocal critic of the Association. He is among few members of the FAI Council to ask dissenting questions at the AGM, and in 2009 quizzed the Board in relation to an unexplained figure of €5.2 million included in those accounts, recorded as “exceptional costs” relating to the Aviva Stadium. 

In an interview in last week’s Sunday Times, Cooke said that John Delaney “was given too much power”, saying that “John did do some good things for Irish football, but there was no control over him.” 

He will now join the FAI Board, and will be elected to the role at the FAI AGM in Trim on  27 July. The role was vacated last month by long-serving Eddie Murray, who resigned from the Board along with Honorary Secretary Michael Cody. 

There are two nominees for the latter role: retired army commander Gerry McAnaney and Tony Dignam, a former financial director of the FAI who stepped down in 2014. 

All elections are subject to the recommendations returned by the FAI’s governance review group, which is currently meeting weekly to recommend changes to how the FAI is run. 

The football body have two representatives on the five-person group – Niamh O’Donoghue and interim CEO Rea Walshe – with the other three appointed by Sport Ireland. 

They will submit their reform proposals on 21 June, ahead of the FAI AGM at which the present Board have said they will resign. 

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Gavin Cooney

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