The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has announced that Roy Barrett, managing director at Goodbody Stockbrokers, has been appointed as its board’s new independent chairperson.
As well as Barrett, the association also announced the appointments of Catherine Guy and Liz Joyce as independent directors on the FAI board and also confirmed that another addition was set to be announced in the coming weeks.
Following his appointment, Barrett stated: “There is a serious job of work to be done to address the very significant failures which have beset the organisation in terms of its governance and its finances. The new Board will now deal with this task with urgency, working collaboratively with its stakeholders.”
Barret is now set to take over as the chair of the board on 25 January, when current president Donal Conway will stand down, with FAI board members hopeful that Barrett’s pedigree will prove beneficial when discussions are held with Government regarding the agreement of a rescue package.
As well as his pedigree, the new independent chair is a close associate of ex-Ireland striker Niall Quinn which has seemingly opened up the possibility of the former Sunderland front-man joining the FAI in some role in the future.
Shane Ross, minister for transport, tourism and sport added: “I’m very pleased to welcome Roy Barrett, Catherine Guy and Liz Joyce and to thank them as well for taking on what is going to be an extremely formidable task. It certainly does seem that at this stage we are going to enter into a new chapter in what has been a disastrous story. I am looking forward to a fresh, constructive dialogue opening between the new FAI and the government.
“They are taking on an association with a debt of €60m, they’re taking on a formidable challenge but we think that their advent, which has been sought for a very long time and which has been resisted by the FAI for a very long time, will mean that those who are creditors and stakeholders will take great encouragement.
“I am hopeful that all stakeholders will now be able to pursue a common goal of root and branch reform, of changing the culture of the FAI and ensuring that grass roots football, players, staff and volunteers are all protected.”
Ross, along with a delegation representing the department of sport, is now reportedly set to meet UEFA officials next week where an attempt will be made to find a resolution to the current predicament of the association.
Brendan Griffin, minister of state for tourism and sport, concluded: “[The] appointments, along with the final appointment to happen shortly, will mean that a fully refreshed Board is in place in the FAI, under an independent Chairman. It is clear to me that the required competence is now in place which will allow us to consider how best to help the FAI to move on.”