Responding to the shocking revelations in the FAI accounts released this afternoon, Catherine Murphy TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats, acknowledging how terrible a day it is for football in Ireland, voiced serious worries about how to rebuild the governing organisation for football in Ireland.
“Those who love the sport, those who do really good work at grassroots level and the good people working within the organisation have been severely let down by a terrible failure of those entrusted to govern and guide the sport.
It’s clear from the scale of the challenges revealed by the audit that the viability of the FAI has been put under severe stress as a result of an organisation where transparency was not considered a core value, where proper norms of governance were ignored, where the Board was deferential to a CEO, and where there are question marks about the professional organisations tasked with oversight and audit.
In the context of all that has been revealed today, the severance package agreed with the former CEO is quite incredible, given how the organisation was run into the ground.
There is an awful lot at stake right now – from grassroots football to our national team. All possible consequences need to be considered and the best approach to rebuilding a robust and reliable organisation for football in Ireland mapped out.
Lots of people have the best interests of the sport at heart. It’s time for constructive dialogue with all stakeholders, including the Government, on putting in place a process to rebuild the architecture around the sport and to support grassroots orgs immediately while that is being resolved.
If we don’t get this rebuilding of the organisation right, the viability of the sport itself is in question.”
6th December 2019