Brendon Menton calls for significant change to FAI structures
Former treasurer and General Secretary makes submission to review committee
Brendan Menton has called for significant changes to the FAI’s main decision making structures and, in particular, its board. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
In a wide-ranging submission to the FAI’s Governance Review Committee, former treasurer and General Secretary, Brendan Menton, has called for significant changes to the association’s main decision making structures and, in particular, its board.
Menton, who will be one of the many “stakeholders” to attend Friday’s forum at the Mansion House at the invitation of Sports Minister Shane Ross, calls for changes at every level. Effective control of AGMs, he suggests, should be handed over to clubs and the majority of votes at a reinvigorated council given to leagues.
Representation at the latter, he argues, should be rebalanced so as to lessen the influence of the junior game which, he contends, has come to wield far too much power at the expense of the League of Ireland and other key constituencies.
“Despite ‘modernisation’ of the rules early this year, women’s football and schoolboy football remain seriously underrepresented,” he argues. “Coaches, of whom there are thousands and who are vital to football, don’t have a voice. Fans and professional footballers are similarly excluded. In contrast, junior (amateur) football is significantly overrepresented and this representation mainly comes through archaic channels.
“In recent years, the board members and many FAI council members have vicariously ignored the FAI constitution, its rules and its policies and procedures . . . without radical change in personnel, at both board level and senior administration level, little is likely to change.
“The objective of reform must be to create a structure, culture and governance that ensures the association can never again be controlled by a small cabal . . . the association must be democratised!”
Over the course of almost 3,000 words he gets into particular detail in relation to the board which, he argues, should be expanded to at least 15 members, with a minimum of five coming from outside the game.
The chair, he suggests, should be one of the independent directors while the Honorary Treasurer should in future hold a recognised accountancy qualification. The Honorary Secretary, who under the association’s rules doubles as its compliance officer, should ideally have some sort of legal expertise.
“The composition of the FAI board needs to be radically altered to professionalise its expertise and to be suitable for successfully managing a €50 million turnover business,” he says. “The composition of the board must recognise both the football and business aspects of the association. The importance of football should not be overlooked as the primary objective of the association is to promote, foster and develop, in all its branches, the game of association football.”
He goes on to specify others areas of expertise which, he feels, should be represented and he suggests that if they are lacking after 10 representatives of different sectors of the game are elected (directly, at the AGM) then people should be co-opted onto the board, by council, to provide them. Directors should then be allocated committees to chair as opposed to elected committee chairs taking places on the board as happens at present.
With regard to the administration of the association, he proposes that the chief executive should not be a member of the board and that salaries for all senior officials be set by a newly established remuneration committee to be comprised of three of the independent directors.
“The level of remuneration should reflect that of similar not-for-profit organisations in Ireland,” he writes. “The decisions of the remuneration committee should be absolute and not subject to review by the board.”
The full submission can be read at: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/submission-to-fai-sport-ireland-governance-review-group-by-brendan-menton-58080dd16a2