Noel Mooney, the former Cork City goalkeeper, current Uefa official and temporary FAI general manager back in 2019, has been appointed CEO of the Football Association of Wales (FAW).
The 44-year-old leaves his Uefa post, as head of strategic development, to begin what he calls the “next chapter” for Welsh football.
Mooney, who would be no stranger to the tempest that can surround a national governing body, will come under immediate scrutiny as chief executive. The Ryan Giggs trial, for allegedly head butting and controlling his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville, is set for Manchester Crown court in January 2022.
Giggs, who denies the accusations, stepped aside as Wales manager when the charges were announced last April with Robert Page leading them to the knockout stages of Euro 2020.
Page remains the caretaker manager.
“In this next chapter for Welsh football, we will grow and evolve the game to become more popular and successful,” said Mooney, via a FAW statement. “The mission is very clear and I can’t wait to work with everyone in Welsh football to reach our full potential.”
In 2019 the Limerick man's six month secondment to the FAI prompted then Minister for Sport Shane Ross to write: "Mooney may have many talents but he is one of the last people on God's Earth suitable for this job."
Mooney’s LinkedIn page lists that position as “interim chief executive officer,” an experience that presumably impressed the FAW interview panel. However, when the FAI appointment was announced, questions were immediately raised about his relationship with disgraced former chief executive John Delaney. Both men played for the St Michael’s club in Tipperary, albeit not together, while Mooney was promoted to Uefa as a marketing manager in 2012 when Delaney still held an unchecked grip on Irish soccer.
“The FAW have identified Noel as the right person to manage the FAW into a new era of success and evolution,” said Kieran O’ Connor, the Welsh association president. “He has a vast experience of working across all European national associations over the past decade to grow European football.”
Mooney was unavailable for comment.