Former CEO urges FAI to consider selling stake in Aviva Stadium

Former CEO urges FAI to consider selling stake in Aviva Stadium

Update: A former chief executive of the FAI has said the association should consider selling off its stake in the Aviva Stadium.

European football's governing body UEFA has reportedly recommended the FAI sell its ownership as its cash-flow crisis continues.

It comes after it was revealed yesterday that John Foley turned down the role of interim Chief Executive, and the Government continues to withhold funding.

Former FAI CEO Bernard O'Byrne believes selling off the Aviva Stadium stake is a suggestion worth thinking about.

He said: "Most of the major countries around Europe don't own their own stadiums.

"The only reason you should own your own stadium is if it's a revenue generator, so if it is a stone around your neck and if it is an asset that you could realise substantial funds, I thinks it's a consideration that must be considered."

Earlier: Oireachtas Sport Committee head urges FAI to appoint independent chairperson for 'fresh start'

The Chair of the Oireachtas Sport Committee Fergus O'Dowd has said the FAI needs to appoint an independent chairperson quickly in order to restore some form of credibility.

Mr O'Dowd said the current situation is absolute chaos and cannot continue.

Former CEO urges FAI to consider selling stake in Aviva Stadium

Yesterday, John Foley, a former Chief Executive of Athletics Ireland, announced he would not take up the role as its interim CEO.

The Minister for Sport Shane Ross said only strong reforms will see its funding restored.

Deputy O'Dowd said appointing an independent chairperson will go some way towards addressing that.

He said: "The name is there, it's been with them some weeks now with the nomination committee in the FAI and I think to give the type of leadership clear direction and a completely fresh start you need such a person to take over at the helm right now."

Minister Ross repeated his call for a “complete regime change” at the FAI, saying the delay in the introduction of independent director for the association is “inexcusable”.

"Regime change is very important for real change," he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland. The public has to see that there has been “a complete clean out” and that “we’re not going back to the old FAI.”

There is a need to see a new generation within the FAI, added Mr Ross.

He was responding to questions about the decision of Mr Foley not to take up the role of interim CEO. “He’s a great guy, super, there’s no questioning his integrity.

“John Foley made this decision himself presuming some stakeholders were unhappy with his involvement with the FAI.”

Mr Ross said there should be no perception that the FAI “is going back to the old ways.”

He said he was not going to interfere, but Government funding would not be restored until there was new corporate governance in place in the FAI.

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