FAI board and State funding


Sir, – The appointment of the secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure, Robert Watt, to the board of the Football Association of Ireland is problematic (News, July 22nd). At the very least it narrows arms-length governance protocols between State funders and those they fund. Almost certainly it will encourage other powerful and well-connected organisations to seek parity of esteem by requesting a senior “department person” on their boards. As it is, staff members of State agencies sit on governing bodies of organisations they fund, leading to some scepticism as to how funding decisions are prioritised. The secretary general’s appointment risks reintroducing perceptions of golden circles among non-governmental and not-for-profit organisations in sports, arts, social, health, tourism, etc.

This has nothing to do with a worthy individual but has everything to do with a level playing fields beyond sport and the Aviva Stadium. – Yours, etc,