John Delaney: FAI 'open to all ideas' on League of Ireland's future

John Delaney: FAI 'open to all ideas' on League of Ireland's future

The FAI is “open to all ideas” about the future of the League of Ireland says CEO John Delaney.

He also says that the organisation is happy to meet with former Irish international Niall Quinn who has proposed that the League break away from the FAI.

“We’re open to new ideas,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

Mr Delaney said that the FAI’s competitions director Fran Gavin has already met with Mr Quinn. “Fran met with Niall to fill him in on somethings he might not be aware of. He wanted to explain to Niall about our youth development projects.”


He also defended a decision to exempt his own position from new term limits for members of board of management of sporting organisations.

The FAI recently introduced a new measure to limit terms for members of its board of management to eight years. The limit was introduced at an Extraordinary General Meeting to bring the body into compliance with the Governance Code endorsed by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Mr Delaney explained that the position of CEO is that of an employee and therefore was not subject to the new time limits.

A CEO is an employee of an organisation. I don’t know of term limits for any other CEOs. An employee is an employee.


Mr Delaney also pointed out that the FAI had taken the new guideline a step further and instead of a nine year term limit, was introducing an eight year terms which it was felt “more accurately reflected the appropriate amount of time for Board members to serve and to ensure that we did not lose their expertise and experience immediately but have a thought-out succession-planning process."

The FAI boss added that the organisation has 200 staff who have the responsibility of implementing the policies of the Board. Part of this is introducing a new hybrid league.

“We took over the League a few years ago at a time when there was a collective loss of €7million. That has changed. There was no age structure, now we have that. We put all that together and introduced positive changes.”