FAI announces departure of chief executive Jonathan Hill

Hill has come under increasing pressure recently after appearance before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee

The Football Association of Ireland has announced the departure of chief executive Jonathan Hill from this role. Hill, who will leave the association at the end of the month with David Courell filling the role on an interim basis, has been in the position since November 2020 but has come under increasing pressure in recent months.

His performance in front of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in February was heavily criticised. Hill was called to appear after a Sport Ireland commissioned audit of the association’s finances found that Hill had accepted a payment of almost €12,000 in lieu of untaken holidays.

Hill said the incident occured due to a throwaway joke being misinterpreted. This excuse, given before two separate joint-Oireachtas committees since December was widely rejected by politicians, with one calling it a “cock and bull” story.

The English-based chief executive repaid the money and another €8,000 benefit-in-kind that he received for commuting expenses after the audit discovered his salary had breached the €270,000 maximum previously agreed.


Under the terms of the 2020 Government bailout, FAI executives cannot be paid more than a secretary general in a Government department.

The FAI were due to finally announce their new permanent senior team manager later this week, on either Wednesday or Thursday, although it is not certain that this will now happen.

Hill had been one of the three main recruiters for the role, along with director of football Marc Canham and board member Packie Bonner.

In an FAI statement, Hill commented: “Since 2020, the FAI team and the wider football community have embraced what has been a radical transformation process for the association and I’m proud of what has been achieved. We have developed a new, dynamic senior leadership team, a clear strategic vision, a bold plan to address football’s wider infrastructure needs and a stable and growing financial platform for further and sustainable growth.

“A notable step forward was the 2021 Equal Pay agreement which has been a vital catalyst for the rapid rise of the women’s senior national team over this period, culminating in a historic first World Cup appearance in Australia in 2023: Our successful bids to host Euro 2028 and the Uefa Europa League final next month are testament to the progress delivered by the FAI staff and their incredible commitment and hard work. I firmly believe that the future is bright for Irish football.”

Tony Keohane, independent chair of the board of the FAI said: “Jonathan joined the association during a difficult time in the heart of the Covid 19 pandemic and helped the association navigate an extremely challenging period. On behalf of the board of the FAI, I want to thank Jonathan for his hard work and dedication over the past number of years and wish him well for the future.”

FAI president Paul Cooke added: “Jonathan has worked incredibly hard in creating the solid foundations for growth and I am sure the Board, executive and staff can now build on those foundations to create real change for the largest participation sport in the country. I wish Jonathan every success in the future.”