The FAI board have vowed to engage with any dissenter providing “constructive input” as they aim to have State funding restored.
Speaking following last night’s board meeting, and amid a letter of complaint sent last week to Fifa and Uefa by senior council member Nixon Morton, the Association reiterated their commitment to “constitutional reform”.
Those changes, mandatory under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) linked to a bailout package agreed between FAI chairman Roy Barrett and sports minister Shane Ross on January 30, involves “retiring” almost 30 of their 79 council members.
The rule amendments, which require a two-thirds majority at an EGM, will also reconstitute the 12-person board equally between football and independent directors, with the latter cohort holding sway through a casting vote by Barrett.
Ross and his department confirmed on Tuesday that the July deadline for implementation remains intact. Government funding, suspended since April 2019, won't resume until this MOU is implemented.
In their statement issued today, the FAI said: “The board of the FAI unanimously agreed at a meeting on Tuesday night to proceed with its plans to develop a strategy incorporating a planned restructuring of the Association, supported by the required constitutional reform for the benefit of everyone involved in football in Ireland.
“The board is further committed to regaining the trust of the public and the key stakeholders who are supporting the association to help them achieve that plan.
“The board are further committed to implementing the highest standards of corporate governance and will ensure that all those involved in the game of football will be represented democratically in any future structure.
“The board of the FAI is available to engage in dialogue with any stakeholder with constructive input during this process, in the interest of developing and promoting the game in Ireland.
“The board will continue to work on charting a safe return to football and completing the process for the appointment of a CEO.”
The delay in recruiting John Delaney’s permanent successor as CEO was highlighted in the missive sent by Morton, who represents the FAI Schools on the council.
Gary Owens has filled the vacancy on an interim basis since January and hasn’t ruled out applying for the full-time role. His deputy Niall Quinn is also employed on an interim basis.
Minister Ross is expected to address a number of queries raised in Morton’s letter when he speaks in the Dáil today.