Miley outlines grievance in Tennis Ireland dispute

Dave Miley, an unsuccessful applicant for the role of Tennis Ireland chief executive, has broken his silence on the dispute with the governing body, stressing his disappointment with the recruitment process, which he claimed lacked transparency.

Miley stepped down from his role as Director of Development at the International Tennis Federation at the end of last year, and hoped to use his 24 years of experience at the ITF to develop the Irish game. But Tennis Ireland instead chose former FAI executive Richard Fahey for its top job and Miley’s grievance will now be referred to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in early 2017.

Miley’s statement read: “I am disappointed with the recruitment and selection process undertaken by Tennis Ireland. As a candidate, I decided to request transparency of the judging process as it pertained to the three interviews I attended. I therefore requested copies of the marking sheets and an explanation of the panel’s judging process. This request was made on the 20th of October. Tennis Ireland has yet to send the requested information.”

Miley enlisted the help of Sport Ireland in resolving that impasse.

“As Sport Ireland oversaw the recruitment process and had a representative on the interview panel, I asked that they discuss my queries and concerns at a board meeting on the 16th of November. I am grateful that they included the item on their meeting agenda.”

And he says he has the backing of many leading figures within Irish tennis.

“I have been made aware that many former and current top Irish players and coaches and many people from the wider tennis community have voiced concerns about the process surrounding the recent CEO appointment.

“I also understand that a significant number of clubs have written to Tennis Ireland about the matter and have stated their intention to call an EGM if their questions about the recruitment process are not answered satisfactorily.

“I can confirm that I have not been involved in any of these actions. However it would appear that I am not alone in struggling to understand the recruitment process and how I was not deemed a best-fit for the role as it pertained to the requirements detailed in the job specification. I look forward to receiving the requested information from Tennis Ireland so that I can better understand the objective basis on which the appointment was made. I intend to make no further comment on this matter prior to the WRC proceedings.”

In a statement announcing Richard Fahey’s appointment last week, Tennis Ireland insisted the selection process had been rigorous.

“The appointment was made in a careful and considered way, looking at the needs of the sport, the needs of the organisation and the demands of the role. While the board acknowledges the disappointment of all the unsuccessful candidates, it is fully satisfied that in Richard Fahey, it has selected a candidate as CEO who has the full range of skills and experience to take on the ambitions of Tennis Ireland and to deliver growth and success for the organisation, while working closely with clubs and their members.”

A former Irish national champion, Miley ran Dublin Parks Tennis in the 1980s before he joined the ITF, establishing five international high-performance tennis training centres and helping develop players like Grigor Dimitrov and Li Na through the ITF/Grand Slam Touring Team programme.

He was involved in devising a world rating system for tennis and launched, in 2007, the “Tennis Play and Stay Campaign” which he claims has had a significant impact on participation worldwide.

Miley said: “I was motivated to see the National Training Centre in Dublin operating to world standards and to seeing better Irish representation on the ATP and WTA tour and better results in the Davis Cup and Fed Cup. I was looking forward to using this experience and knowledge to support the Board of Tennis Ireland and Tennis Ireland’s employees to overcome the challenges facing tennis in Ireland, particularly in areas of income generation, grassroots/ club level development and high-performance player development.”


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