O’Leary steps down from FAI finance role

THE FAI have announced that its finance director, Mark O’Leary, is today leaving the association to return to work in industry and commerce after five years in the job.

The news comes just two weeks after O’Leary delivered the financial report to the FAI AGM in Wexford, during which he sought to reassure delegates that the association could manage its multi-million pound debt on the Aviva Stadium and would have it paid off in the next 10 years.

Yesterday, O’Leary said that he had enjoyed his time working with the FAI during what he described as “a period of rapid growth which saw us become joint owners of the €€411m Aviva Stadium”.

Commenting on O’Leary’s departure, FAI chief executive John Delaney said: “Over the past five years, during what has been a period of sustained growth and development for the association, Mark has made a very significant contribution, putting in place the necessary financing arrangements to fund its share of the Aviva Stadium construction costs and having significantly improved the financial reporting and controls in the association.

“I want to thank Mark for his commitment to the organisation and on behalf of the staff and voluntary members wish Mark well in his future career.’’

Pádraig Smith, who will now manage the finance function of the FAI on an interim basis, has been with the association since 2007, having previously worked with Ernst and Young.

Insisting that O’Leary’s decision to move on was purely for personal and professional reasons, FAI sources with the Irish squad in Yerevan also rebuffed any suggestion that his departure might damage the business plan he helped to set in place, saying that association would continue to work with the plan laid out at last month’s AGM.


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