FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill to leave post at end of month

Interim CEO to be appointed after Englishman’s April 30 departure

FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill (right) and FAI independent director Catherine Guy (left) arriving at Leinster House, Dublin
FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill (right) and FAI independent director Catherine Guy (left) arriving at Leinster House, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Jonathan Hill is to leave his role as chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland.

Hill, who has been in post since November 2020, was heavily criticised following his appearance in front of the Dail’s public accounts committee in February after he had been called to discuss a Sport Ireland-commissioned audit of the association’s finances.

The FAI Board has announced he will leave the association on April 30 and an interim chief executive will be appointed while “a structured search for a full-time successor” takes place.

Tony Keohane, independent chair of the FAI Board, said: “Jonathan joined the association during a difficult time in the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic and helped the association navigate an extremely challenging period.

“On behalf of the Board of the FAI, I want to thank Jonathan for his hard work and dedication over the past number of years and wish him well for the future.

“Not only did Jonathan guide the association and the game through an incredibly difficult pandemic period, but he led the transformation in the association and leaves us with a robust organisational structure, a vastly improved financial position and a blueprint for the future success of football in Ireland.”

Hill found himself in the firing line over his explanation before the public accounts committee of a payment of 11,550 he received from the association in lieu of untaken holidays.

He repaid the amount and another 8,000 benefit in kind he received for commuting expenses after the audit revealed his salary had breached the maximum of 270,000 maximum allowed under a government bail-out agreed with the FAI in 2020.

Hill, who apologised and insisted the breach had been unintentional, was one of three men, along with director of football Marc Canham and Board member Packie Bonner, handed the task of identifying a successor to Stephen Kenny, who lost his job as Ireland manager in November but is yet to be replaced.

His tenure has seen the introduction of an equal pay agreement for the women’s national team, who qualified for the World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand for the first time, and a successful joint bid to host the Euro 2028 finals, while next month’s Europa League final will also be played in Dublin.

Hill said: “Since 2020, the FAI and the wider football community have embraced what has been a radical transformation process for the association, and I am proud of what has been achieved.

“We have developed a new, dynamic senior leadership team, a clear strategic vision, a bold plan to address football’s wider infrastructure needs and a stable and growing financial platform for further and sustainable growth.”