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Page last updated at 07:39 GMT, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 08:39 UK

New twist in IFA saga as Kennedy withdraws resignation

The Irish FA executive board is effectively unable to function after the resignation of four committee members including association president Raymond Kennedy and vice-president David Martin

There has been a further twist in the crisis at the Irish FA amid reports that Raymond Kennedy has withdrawn his resignation from the body's executive.

IFA president Kennedy and vice-president David Martin were among four members of the executive board who tendered their resignations on Monday.

That left the executive without sufficient members to take decisions.

However after a day of frantic meetings, there were reports that Kennedy had withdrawn his resignation.

The IFA has been in turmoil since Kennedy was criticised in an independent report into the sacking of former chief executive Howard Wells.

The upheaval comes at a time when government funding the redevelopment of Windsor Park stadium is at risk.

The resignations of the quartet from the IFA executive board left the executive committee with just five remaining members - one short of the minimum number required for decisions to be taken.

Former Irish FA chief executive Howard Wells
The payout to ex-IFA chief Howard Wells has put Kennedy under pressure

Amid the chaos, a number of emergency meetings were held at IFA headquarters on Monday and there were reports that the resignations of the four executive board members might not be accepted.

Initial reports suggested that the resignations would not affect Kennedy's position as IFA president or Martin's vice-president's role.

Kennedy has stated that he will resign as president at next month's scheduled IFA council meeting but only "subject of the ratification of the IFA Council".

It is unclear whether the council will accept those resignations.

What happens next is unclear but it's possible that an emergency meeting of the IFA Council could now be called.

Irish Premier League chairman Hugh Wade entered the fray on Tuesday morning by calling for an emergency IFA Council meeting, which would elect new IFA president and vice-presidents.

Wade met with officials from Premiership clubs on Monday and said there was "unanimous agreement" that Kennedy and Martin should quit their positions "as soon as possible".


"Nelson McCausland has said if the IFA doesn't have an immediate governance review, that there will be no money available," added Wade, who is also one of the remaining members of the IFA executive board.

"All the grounds need development. We need government funding to get our grounds in order so that our fans have better facilities."

Wade added that he had been "amazed by the twists and turns" of recent days.

He also said that he had requested a meeting with officials from the Dunloy club, who have submitted proposals which would result in senior clubs having reduced input into IFA decision-making.

"For the good of football, everybody has to work together."

One of the things on the table for the council to discuss are proposals that would see the current board of 10 members reduced to just eight but the entire make up of that board would change.

No office bearers, such as the president or vice-president, would be able to join the new board while the influence of those who represent the senior clubs would be reduced.

I have expressed my concerns previously about the IFA's governance arrangements and am looking for early action to address these

Sports Minister Nelson McCausland

Wells' unfair dismissal case cost the Irish FA over £500,000.

Sports Minister Nelson McCausland has made it clear that substantial government funding would be put at risk if Kennedy and Martin remain in their jobs at the IFA.

"Significant payouts to former employees have diverted resources from those who play and support football at all levels and as a result has eroded public confidence in the IFA," said Mr McCausland last month.

"An extremely damaging independent review into the circumstances surrounding the sacking of the previous IFA chief executive found that the two most senior officers of the Association acted in the knowledge of the financial risk of their actions for the Association.

"I would have great difficulty in placing further public funds in the hands of an organisation where these individuals remained in a senior position.

"I have expressed my concerns previously about the IFA's governance arrangements and am looking for early action to address these.

"It is of crucial importance that the IFA wins back the confidence of government if the Association is to benefit from future support from the public purse."

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see also
Kennedy confirms September exit
08 Aug 10 |  Irish
Kennedy aims to stay in IFA post
06 Aug 10 |  Irish
Nelson announces review into IFA
07 Jul 10 |  Irish
Report piles pressure on Kennedy
02 Jul 10 |  Irish
Kennedy urged to quit as IFA boss
03 Jan 10 |  Irish
Kennedy vows to stay in IFA role
18 Nov 09 |  Internationals
IFA settle Wells case with payout
12 Nov 09 |  Northern Ireland
Kennedy under pressure to quit
05 Jul 10 |  Irish
Ex-IFA chief Wells breaks silence
26 Nov 08 |  Irish
Irish FA endorses Wells sacking
17 Oct 08 |  Irish
Kennedy talks about IFA chief's sacking
14 Oct 08 |  Football

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