Another day, another FAI EGM, but this afternoon's meeting is a particularly significant step towards the fulfillment of governance recommendations the association must adopt as part of the rescue package it received in January 2020.
Change is in the air.
A new 12-person board, split 50/50 between football and independent directors, will be ratified while the FAI could also have a new president and vice-president by day's end.
Gerry McAnaney's position as president is being challenged by current board member Dave Moran, representing the Leinster Senior League.
Vice president Paul Cooke meanwhile will go up against Ursula Scully - representing the SFAI - as he looks to hold on to his title. The president and vice-president will be elected on two-year terms.
At an EGM in March members voted to replace the FAI Council with a 141-person General Assembly which consists of three chambers: professional football, amateur and youth football and a national bodies group which represents schoolboys' and schoolgirls' football. Voting rights are split equally between the three chambers and it is this assembly that will decide who will be elected and ratified at today's online EGM.
On Friday the FAI wrote to delegates of the new General Assembly informing them of the full list of nominations for the new FAI Board .
These amendments are all part of the terms and conditions agreed in January 2020 when a €30m rescue package was brokered to save the FAI from potential liquidation.
The current board consists of McAnaney and Cooke; the four independent members [chair Roy Barrett, Catherine Guy, Liz Joyce and Robert Watt]; and six members elected to represent different elements of the sport: Martin Heraghty and Dick Shakespeare from the national leagues, John Finnegan and Dave Moran from amateur adult football, Scully from schools and Joe O'Brien representing other affiliates.
So who's in line to come in?
Currently there are six football directors on the board but two need to go as part of the reform.
The football directors up for ratification are John Finnegan from the amateur and youth chamber, Richard Shakespeare from the professional chamber, with Joseph O'Brien and Tom Browne from the national chamber. Former Sligo Rovers chairman Heraghty will officially step away from the board today.
The meeting will also be asked to ratify Barrett, Guy [the CEO of Autolease Fleet Management Limited], Joyce [Director of Human Resources at the Central Bank of Ireland], Watt, Packie Bonner and businessman Gary Twohig for the six independent director roles.
We know Bonner will have a role to play. The Donegal man is set to be announced as one of the independent directors with responsibility for high performance.
Bonner previously worked as the FAI's Technical Director for eight years. He left in 2010 when his contract ended at a time when the FAI were making significant financial cuts.
Barrett described today's EGM as "historic", adding that the FAI "will take the next and most significant steps yet on the road to reform for our association and for our game in Ireland.
"This EGM will see the inauguration of our new General Assembly and the election and ratification of a new board of the FAI to include six independent directors for the first time, the changes which were deemed necessary following the seismic events of the past 26 months.
"Sunday’s EGM will also witness the latest stage of the transformation sought by our partners in Government and by FIFA and UEFA as we continue to build a new FAI, fit for purpose and fit for the future of Irish football.
"I am optimistic that we will send out a clear message on Sunday and prove that a new FAI is alive and well. Our Irish football community deserves that much and we can all look forward with confidence."