Home Sport New president wants to 'spread the gospel of the FAI'

New president wants to 'spread the gospel of the FAI'


Gerry McAnaney has described his election as the new President of the FAI as “probably one of the greatest days of my life.”

The Dublin-born former Irish Army officer, who has been based in Cork since 1979, beat Sligo Rovers chairman and current FAI board member Martin Heraghty by a convincing margin of 88 to 40 at today’s EGM in Dublin, to succeed outgoing President Donal Conway.

“It means an awful lot,” said the 61-year-old at a press conference following his election. “It’s probably one of the greatest days of my life to be president of an association that you’ve given 40 years’ service to. And to be voted in by its own members, country-wide, it’s a tremendous honour.”

Outlining his ambitions as President of an organisation which is still in the throes of coming to grips with the biggest crisis in its history, McAnaney said:

“As president of the FAI in its current situation, I feel the greatest thing that I would have to offer at the moment is communication.

“To get out and let people know at all levels of the game where exactly we’re at. With our new board, new governance and new directors, we have to keep everyone informed. And I would see the President’s role as literally to get out and spread the gospel of the FAI.

We’re all aware of where the FAI is at and although I’m only literally in the door as a board member today, I think the solution to the crisis is everyone getting around the table and doing their best for Irish football. If we can increase funding that would be a good start.

McAnaney maintained that, over the course of his many years as a member of the FAI council, any time he had concerns about governance issues, he made them known to the people he represented.

“And I would not have voted in favour of certain governance changes at various times over the years,” he said.

Asked for his assessment of the performance of his predecessor Donal Conway, McAnaney said:

“Donal Conway, I’ve known him over 20 years. I knew him outside football and within football. He didn’t sign up for what landed on his lap last March.

“Whilst he was a member of a previous board for a good number of years, and was vice president and president, as you are all aware he wasn’t fully informed.

“And if Donal Conway says he wasn’t full informed, I’ve no reason to believe otherwise.”