Sport Ireland insists FAI board have independent members

Sport Ireland has insisted any new FAI board must have independent members to ensure transparency as it begins its corporate governance review of the soccer body today.

Sport Ireland insists FAI board have independent members

Sport Ireland has insisted any new FAI board must have independent members to ensure transparency as it begins its corporate governance review of the soccer body today.

Chief executive John Treacy confirmed the plans but declined to say if he would prefer if John Delaney resigns completely or if he should be allowed to return from “gardening leave” if cleared by an FAI review.

Mr Treacy said Tuesday’s confirmation that the entire FAI board will step down by July is positive news.

He was speaking at an event in Dublin City at which Sports Minister Shane Ross refused to answer media questions.

Mr Treacy said Sport Ireland’s review of the FAI’s corporate governance structures will begin today when officials from both groups meet to discuss the fallout from recent revelations. He said independent members are needed.

“The corporate governance group, which is led by Aidan Horan, will start meeting as early as Thursday and get on with the business,” he said.

“The culture will take longer [to change] and we realise that. It is making sure that you bring in the expertise that is required... you need independent people.

“I know from my experience of dealing with a lot of governing bodies in sport where they have independent people they add huge value, huge value.”

Mr Treacy was asked about the future of Mr Delaney who is on “gardening leave”

after he agreed to voluntarily step aside on Monday pending an FAI Mazars review.

“I can’t really comment on that as it is a contractual piece with the FAI,” he said.

“But from what I can gather, John Delaney isn’t part of the FAI anymore while he is on gardening leave or whatever the description is.”

Mr Treacy confirmed Mr Delaney “is no longer in the [FAI] headquarters”, but declined to say if he would be happy if he returned.

Meanwhile, it is understood Mr Delaney is continuing to receive his full executive vice-president salary while on “gardening leave” because of legal processes the FAI must go through before a decision can be made on his future.

It is expected these legal processes — which were linked to A&L Goodbody officials attending Monday’s board meeting — could take several weeks to complete.

However, it is hoped they will be concluded by the FAI’s annual general meeting on July 27, at which point the entire FAI board will resign.

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