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Noel Mooney “Categorically” Rules Out Staying On As FAI CEO

Interim CEO of the Football Association of Ireland Noel Mooney has confirmed that he will not be staying on in his role past the end of November as the search for a permanent successor to John Delaney continues.

Mooney was installed as the general manager of the organisation in May in a six month secondment from UEFA, but with his role coming to an end on November 30th, a full time successor is still to be named.

The former Cork City goalkeeper was speaking to the media at the FAI’s Senior Council meeting along with President Donal Conway, Cabinteely’s Larry Bass who was appointed to the Finance Committee, and FAI Vice President Paul Cooke.

The FAI has been subjected to intense scrutiny over the last year or so following the emergence of a €100,000 bridging loan given by then CEO John Delaney to the Association in a Sunday Times report.

A litany of statements, reports and Oireachtas Committees followed as Delaney stepped away from his role, the government suspended funding to the organisation and a restructuring of the current board was ordered.

The independent reports into the FAI’s finances from Mazars and KOSI are both still ongoing following a delay, with Conway explaining that over 40,000 documents were provided to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) with two being withheld on the basis of legal advice.

Delaney’s resignation from the Association was officially confirmed just last month and Conway was quizzed as to whether or not his disengagement from the FAI was improving their discussions with the government and Sport Ireland.

“It’s very difficult for me to start talking about the John Delaney situation and I’m not trying to be evasive, it actually is. It’s a confidential agreement.

“In terms of the consequences, my sense, I don’t so speaking to government specifically on this or the department of Sport Ireland, but my sense is that it’s welcomed, the fact that there’s a termination and a separation between the association and the former CEO.”

Much was made of the severance package which Delaney received upon his departure, thought to be in excess of €300,000 and Paul Cooke outlined that if required by company law that would be “disclosed in the accounts.”

“There are certain disclosure requirements around company law which if disclosure of the severance package is required they will be disclosed in the accounts.”

As the FAI continues its attempts to move towards a new dawn, they must also address the issue of a new permanent CEO, with Noel Mooney set to return to UEFA and ruling out an extended stay with the organisation.

Conway explained how the process of recruiting a new CEO would take place outlining that if the proper procedures don’t occur by the time Mooney has left his role then another “interim solution” would have to be looked at.

“What will have to happen there is, the old board or the current board with eight directors which commenced on the 27th of July, we have felt that we should have a full compliment.

“The independent chair will be a key person here, the other independent directors with the eight directors that are currently in situ, it should be a decision that all 12 make, so as soon as we are independent chair and our other three independent directors we immediately start the process of recruiting a new CEO.

“(If this doesn’t happen in time) we will have to look at an interim solution.”

During his time with the FAI, Mooney has been outspoken on a number of issues and has frequently engaged with many on Twitter regarding the Association.

He has also been embroiled in a back and forth with former Irish senior manager Brian Kerr, outlining that he “begged” Kerr to work for the organisation again despite his “bashing” of the FAI.

Despite this, Kerr hit out at Mooney on Virgin Media earlier this week, criticising the fact that Mooney appears to have “so much time to do podcasts, interviews, Twitter-views and throw out inaccurate comments about myself (Kerr) and what has happened over the last few weeks.”

Mooney’s responded on Friday outlining that he feels “enough has been said” between the pair and that “it’s time to draw a line in the sand and move on.”

“I think enough has been said there. I think it’s time to draw a line and move on for us. Brian is absolutely right we have a lot of work to do here within the Association, I think the approach was that we would be open, engaging and communicate as much as we could.

“That was something that as an Association we feel is the right thing to do, it’s something that we have engaged in we have a lot to do. It’s time to draw a line in the sand and move on.”

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here [email protected]