Former FAI general secretary Brendan Menton believes FIFA should step in and appoint an interim committee to restructure the association. 

Menton, who resigned from the FAI after the 2002 Genesis report, argued that the remainder of the FAI board should lead this process, calling on President Donal Conway to be proactive in seeking FIFA assistance. 

In latter years, Menton has worked as a consultant for FIFA, aiding the development of football associations in Africa and Asia.

He points out that, in exceptional circumstances where member associations are no longer complying with FIFA statutes, the world body retains the power to depose the existing board and install a grouping of independent people to temporarily run their affairs, the so-called 'normalisation committee'. 

Speaking to Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ Radio One, Menton argues that those exceptional circumstances exist at present in Ireland.   

"I think the best solution is that FIFA come in and appoint this normalisation committee of independent people to restructure the association over a period of fifteen months," he said.

"In my piece, I asked the FAI president Donal Conway to lead this process instead of FIFA coming to chase the FAI. You go to FIFA, explain and ask for their help. But my fear is that is going to be ignored."

He is highly critical of Sport Ireland's role in the controversy, both for its failure to spot the FAI's deteriorating financial position, and for what he regards as its unreasonably optimistic timescale for FAI reform. 

"I think Official Ireland is designing a quick-fix solution to bury this under the carpet. 

"The timescale is ridiculous. It's less than three months until the AGM in July. How are all the investigations going to be completed? How is all the restructuring going to happen in that timescale?

"Their proposal leaves the decision-making in the hands of the people who have been complicit in creating this debacle. The surviving board members and the council members.

"The biggest problem for me is the power bloc that is the FAI council. It's 59 members. But it consists of cabals and bloc voting goes on. There's one bloc, in particular, the provincial associations and junior council. They control 36% of the vote. And they're going to bloc vote. They're going to resist change.  

"And Sport Ireland are asking them to lead change? Come on."

Brendan Menton, as general secretary, alongside the late president Milo Corcoran and treasurer John Delaney in September 2002

Menton resigned in November 2002 following the publication of the Genesis Report into the FAI's role at that year's World Cup in Japan. 

The former general secretary acknowledges that the report's (subsequently ignored) recommendation that independent directors be appointed to the board might have prevented the current crisis.

However, he is broadly critical of the report, arguing that a number of its recommendations in fact created the conditions for the present situation, notably its insistence that the board be reduced in size.   

"John Treacy (Sport Ireland CEO) said at the Dáil Committee that one of the major tenets for sporting organisations is the division of responsibilities between the administrative side and the executive side.

"Genesis burst that and yet Sport Ireland supported the Genesis Report. For the first time in history, the chief executive, John Delaney, became a voting member of the board. That's unique in football. It was against FIFA regulations and yet it was allowed to happen. 

"The other thing that brought this about was the reduction in the size of the board from 20 people to 10 people.  And now Sport Ireland seem to be saying we need wider representation on the board. The reduction in the size of the board allowed a small cabal to control things... 

"At the time, Genesis was supposedly the salvation of Irish football. That's proven to be false. But I have no doubt that a FIFA normalisation committee gives you the time and the independence needed. 

"We need to reform the board and the chief executive's office. We need to empower the clubs. We need to banish these cabals, reduce their influence and their power. Only an independent body can achieve that."