Brian Kerr has called for people in the FAI to be there for the right reasons and not for “a bigger fancier blazer”.
Kerr was speaking on Virgin Media during coverage of last night’s Champions League action and made a passionate call, saying the most important thing that happens next is that the “right people are involved to revamp the FAI”.
It was announced on Monday that the current board of the FAI is to step down following the financial and governance issues within the association.
It was also confirmed on Sunday that former CEO John Delaney was to “voluntarily step aside” pending “an independent investigation by the association”.
When it was put to Kerr by host Tommy Martin that he had spent too long “out in the cold” and that he should be involved in the FAI, Kerr said it was not for him to say.
“There’s a lot of people who have been out in the cold. I’ve said it many times,” said Kerr.
“[There’s] a lot of great people in there [within the FAI] and they haven’t flowered because they haven’t had the proper leadership.
“There’s been an undercurrent of fear in the work they’ve had to do and their approach.
“It’s not for me to say, I’ve been involved in football all my life. I’ve loved it. I’ve been in every aspect of the game.
“I’ve played as a young fella in schoolboy football, I’ve played junior football – wasn’t very good – managed at all the levels I’ve got to be involved in, colleges football, the whole lot.
“So I know a bit about it. But it’s not for me to say whether I have any future in this.
“The most important thing is that the right people are involved to revamp the FAI and bring back that trust that we all want in the leadership of the FAI.
“That they’re doing it for the right reasons. Not for themselves; not to have a bigger fancier blazer, or to fly on a fancier plane or to have more tickets to distribute…It’s not about that. It’s about the well-being of the game, developing smashing players, having successful youth teams, having a great coaching structure that we can be proud of, and a strong League of Ireland.”
When Niall Quinn was asked on the same show if he would like to be involved, the former striker denied an interest in the CEO position.
“I think that’s a role for somebody to come in and not be somebody who is known. The narrative has to be about the job now, not the person doing it,” said Quinn.
“When you’re well known and you have a voice that can be difficult.”
Quinn said he would like to see “young, dynamic” people involved and said if he can help that he would be interested “if required” but was not something he was pushing for.
The former Sunderland chairman added that were “brilliant” people in the FAI said that with the “withholding of funding some really good stuff is in danger of collapsing and that’s the development coaches that go out and do great work.”
Quinn said it was “imperative” that a trickle of funding went back in to support the good things that happen on the ground in football.
“If that means putting a few people in place, or being part of something that gives government, in the short term, the comfort that they can continue doing the right thing, then I’d be all up for that,” Quinn said.