The Governance Review Group set up by the Football Association of Ireland and Sport Ireland have released a wide-ranging list of 78 recommendations to be made at the FAI, following months of turmoil within the organisation.

The report comes amid major concerns over the finances and organisation of the body, and the controversy over the departure of former chief executive John Delaney, who was subsequently appointed executive vice-president of the FAI in March.

Among the changes recommended by the report are new board and council structures, although the review does back the idea that some current board members could retain their roles as part of an interim board until the 2020 AGM.

At the 2020 AGM a new 12-person board would then be formed with four independent members, six members from the football community, the President and the Vice-President with the chairperson being one of the four independents.


The report recommends that a limit of eight years be applied to anyone serving on the board, made up of two four-year terms and that the FAI's chief executive should not be a member of the board and would, twice a year, report to the board on governance and compliance issues.

Also recommended are that there should be a process for the board to evaluate the performance of the CEO and that urgent arrangements be made for the establishment of an internal audit function.

Under the proposals, all funding agreements would be proposed to the board, irrespective of any agreed thresholds or approval processes and all grant of funding arrangements above a defined threshold would have to be reviewed and approved.

Issues of gender equality have also been addressed with calls for a third of the board to be made up of female members within 24 months. 

"We have also unfortunately seen evidence of a breakdown in trust, confidence and faith in the association"

Governance Review Group Chair Aidan Horan said: "In our many meetings and presentations over recent weeks I have regularly emphasised that governance should not be seen as an end in itself but as a means to end.

"That end being, in the case of the FAI, the fulfilment of its overall purpose – the promotion and development of football in Ireland. All of the governance practices, policies, procedures, processes and the overall governance structures and arrangements should be directed with that overall purpose in mind.

"We have also unfortunately seen evidence of a breakdown in trust, confidence and faith in the association and this review is primarily focused on identifying and recommending actions and initiatives that, if implemented as envisaged, aim to rebuild and restore the trust, confidence and faith in how the association is governed.

"This report calls for serious reflection by those who have the authority and power to support and endorse these recommendations. This report also calls for a serious reflection by those who may see themselves taking on a governance position to acknowledge the profound duties and expectations that go with these roles."

Sport Ireland Chairman Kieran Mulvey welcomed the report and called for swift implementation of the recommendations.

"The report clearly and appropriately identifies the collective responsibility of the new board of the FAI in leading and directing the organisation's activities," he said.

"It will be up to the new board of the FAI to show leadership in the implementation of these critical, yet achievable, recommendations. The timely implementation of these reforms is important in the restoration of public trust and confidence in the FAI."

The report will now go to the AGM of the FAI in Trim on 27 July, when 206 delegates will have voting rights, with a two-thirds majority needed to pass the recommendations.

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