Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy has expressed his confidence in the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) delivering a series of robust reform proposals for the FAI.
IPA Director Aidan Horan is currently heading up a Governance Review Group, which is expected to create a foundation for change ahead of the football association's AGM on July 27.
Treacy told the Sport Ireland Institute’s annual review for 2018 today: “We had said all along that we would like to have the majority [in the Review Group]. We have three people and we have the chair, so we know it’s going to be robust. The piece around it that’s important as well is that the IPA are a key partner of ourselves in terms of what we do, in terms of corporate governance. They are experts in the field.
"A lot of organisations, from the public sector and from the voluntary sector, go to a lot of those seminars that they have through the course of the year. We go ourselves, our audit committee go as well and they come and deliver for us to the sports as well. We have that ongoing dialogue with them all the time.
"They’re tried and tested, and they’re people we have great confidence in. They’ll come back, I guarantee you, with very strong and robust ways forward in terms of corporate governance.”
Alongside Sport Ireland nominees Dr Moling Ryan and Joe O’Leary, FAI members Niamh O’Donoghue and Rea Walshe (Interim CEO) are also included on the Governance Review Group.
This is a move that has attracted considerable criticism, but Treacy insisted it was a requirement to have two people from the association involved in some capacity.
“The FAI chose the two from the FAI. There had to be two people from the sport on it because you can’t work in a vacuum. The group have already met and they’re meeting on a weekly basis.”
In addition to the work being done by Sport Ireland and the FAI, Treacy acknowledged UEFA is playing an important role in the Group - who have given themselves a final deadline of June 21 for the completion of their report.
“When we were setting it up, we had one eye on UEFA as well. The terms of reference were signed off on Friday and they were obviously signed off by ourselves at Sport Ireland, by the FAI board and by UEFA as well. That was an important piece that we needed to bring,” Treacy explained.
“It really was important because we want everyone to buy into this and UEFA are really an important partner. They’re a lot more important partner in terms of contribution and financial contribution than we are ourselves, Sport Ireland or the Government. It was really important that they were comfortable and gave the FAI the thumbs up to proceed.
"The timelines on this are extremely tight, but we need to keep our head down and go at it. We have the right people sitting around the room to do this and deliver it, I think.”