Conway warns of 'harm' to FAI if reform report rejected

Donal Conway

FAI President Donal Conway has said it is vital for the good of the organisation that delegates at the association’s AGM next month vote in favour of adopting the Governance Review Report which was published today.

The report, which advocates root and branch reform of the embattled organisation, will require a two-thirds majority of the 206 members to pass.

Between now the AGM on July 27, Conway said that, in lobbying for its backing, he “will talk to as many of those people as I possibly can in the time interval that’s there.”

He went on: “There is going to be an absolutely huge engagement with the members of the football family, those who will be potentially attending the AGM.”

The FAI President said that he will be warning members of “the prospect of rejecting these proposals, what harm will it do to the association that you are invested in, that you may have been invested in for a very considerable time.”

Insisting that the report is Plan A and that there is no Plan B, Conway said he believes it will pass at the AGM.

“There is a huge job of work to be done, but I come back to it; where do any of us come from? I’m a volunteer in this game. I have been a volunteer in this game all my life.

I know what motivates me and I know why I was invested in this game. I don’t think the people who we are asking to vote are going to be terribly dissimilar, so I think it’s about recognising that this is the best for the FAI.

“I would have talked to sponsors, for example, during the worst of the difficulties we have had over the recent number of months. They are all, for example, looking very carefully at this and their continued involvement with brand FAI is dependent on this kind of report being adopted.

“These are the kind of arguments we will be putting to our members to convince them that adopting this is in the best interests of the FAI.”

The report proposes the setting up of an interim board for a period of 12 months and recommends that one or two of the current board, now reduced to seven, should stay on to help with the transition.

Asked if he was in the running for a role on the interim board, Conway said: “I will consider that position with my fellow directors, and I will be guided very much by my fellow directors.”

Explaining the thinking behind the retention of current members on an interim board, Chairman of the Governance Review Group Aidan Horan stressed: “There was no level of interference with us coming up with this recommendation.

"We were conscious that the Board had indicated that they would resign (but) in terms of managing and phasing the transition that has to happen, just from a good governance point of view, to ask everyone to move away and to lose that corporate understanding, insight and background data, we thought it was much more prudent and appropriate that you would allow one or maximum two to maybe put themselves forward.”

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