Kevin Doyle believes the crisis engulfing the FAI is a sign that soccer in Ireland needs to get its house in order or risk losing recruits to Gaelic games and rugby.
Speaking on RTÉ's Soccer Social, the former Republic of Ireland international said: "It's tough out there for coaches to convince kids to come. It's getting harder.
"Rugby is becoming more popular, GAA is always going to be very popular.
"So we are competing against other sports and we need to be looking as professional an organisation and as well run as possible, if we plan to get parents to send their kids.
"We are the most participated sport in the country, and there are a lot of people working very hard and lower down in the leagues, who are doing a very good job.
"But at the moment, it's like a stain on everybody."
Doyle acknowledges that the policies of the Association have been popular with some in the grassroots and less so in the League of Ireland but he insists a consensus is needed on how to move forward.
And he remains optimistic football can turn the corner.
"You have to listen to everyone. Junior football in Ireland has one thought on how it should be run, League of Ireland teams will have another idea how their youth set up should be run.
"It's about getting everyone together. Everyone wants football to do well in Ireland.
"We just need to figure it out. There will be light at the end of the tunnel.
"It happens in other countries and this is our chance to put it right."