New names in the frame for FAI's top table

Schoolboys/girls representative Ursula Scully, already a board member since December 2019 is vying to become the first female to ever hold the office of President or Vice-President
New names in the frame for FAI's top table

FAI board member Ursula Scully 

Ursula Scully was last night nominated to challenge FAI Vice-President Paul Cooke for the role at next month's EGM of the Association.

Schoolboys/girls representative, Scully, already a board member since December 2019 is vying to become the first female to ever hold the office of President or Vice-President.

Earlier this week, Leinster FA nominee Dave Moran was proposed to compete against incumbent Gerry McAnaney for the role of President, also at the FAI EGM on Sunday, May 23.

The election will be decided by a ballot of the new FAI assembly, which is heavily weighted in favour of both the amateur and underage football ranks.

The new structure, which replaces the senior council and AGM membership, consists of 141 delegates divided into three sections: professional football, amateur and then national bodies.

If a reciprocal bloc is agreed between the latter two powerbases, then Scully and Moran would each easily amass the golden target of 71 votes each to claim victory.

McAnaney and Cooke, at the minimum, require full support from the professional chamber, composed primarily of the male and female national league clubs, if they are to remain in place.

As it stands, eight of the 12 board members – including the President and Vice-President – are sourced through football channels.

However, a demand by government to reduce that portion to six, thereby splitting the board equally with independent directors, will be implemented in the coming weeks.

Along with McAnaney and Cooke, a third football director, Joe O’Brien, is fighting to retain his seat.

FAI Schools figurehead Nixon Morton is expected to mount a campaign but O’Brien could also come under pressure from Paul Walsh, who last year succeeded him as Chairman of the Colleges FAI.

Current 12-person FAI board: Gerry McAnaney (President), Paul Cooke (Vice-President), Dave Moran and John Finnegan (Amateur section reps), Dick Shakespeare and Martin Heraghty (League of Ireland reps), Ursula Scully (Schoolboy/girls), Joe O’Brien (Minority groups), Roy Barrett (Independent Chairman), Liz Joyce, Catherine Guy and Robert Watt (Independents).

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