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Quinn steps aside

Move to remove the 'hostility' towards senior pair

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AVAILABLE: Niall Quinn has resigned as Deputy Interim CEO of the FAI

AVAILABLE: Niall Quinn has resigned as Deputy Interim CEO of the FAI

SPORTSFILE

AVAILABLE: Niall Quinn has resigned as Deputy Interim CEO of the FAI

Niall Quinn stepped aside from his senior role with the FAI to remove the "hostility" towards him and CEO Gary Owens from sections of the football community.

And FAI staff were yesterday told that the process of recruiting a permanent CEO is now at an advanced stage, with the appointment due to be made by the end of next week.

Interim CEO Owens, who last week stated that he was not in contention for the post on a long-term basis, addressed the 200-strong FAI staff, informing them that two new major sponsorship deals were close to conclusion, those deals necessary as key sponsors 3 and SSE Airtricity are cutting their ties with the association.

Staff were also told that former international Quinn, who had been in place as Deputy Interim CEO alongside Owens since January, would depart his role, though Quinn offered to "remain available" to the FAI until the new CEO is recruited, though a new Deputy CEO will not be hired.

"I will remain close to Irish football and I wish all of my colleagues the very best of luck," Quinn said in a statement issued by the FAI.

Quinn declined to comment when contacted last night but sources close to the board claimed that Quinn and Owens had gone public on their plans to step away from their FAI roles to ease tensions and clear the way for the new CEO to take charge.

A second round of interviews takes place on Thursday and Friday, a short list of three candidates. Swim Ireland CEO Sarah Keane remains the front-runner.

"There was a lot of hostility there towards Niall and Gary from some quarters, especially sections of the League of Ireland, and the feeling is, if they go then the noise might go and the new CEO can have a fresh start," a source said.


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