‘It sounds like something from the Soviet era’ - Brian Kerr perplexed at ‘off the wall’ FAI job offer

‘It sounds like something from the Soviet era’ - Brian Kerr perplexed at ‘off the wall’ FAI job offer

Former Ireland manager Brian Kerr has resisted overtures to return to the FAI as a media watchdog.

Kerr guided Ireland to Under-16 and Under-18 European Championship glory in 1998 and managed the senior side between 2003-2005.

But he has been a staunch critic of John Delaney and the current regime and has been a consistent advocate for change at the top of the organisation.

Recent moves from the FAI’s Noel Mooney to bring him back onside have not been well received.

Haphazard Approaches

At a Virgin Media event to promote the broadcaster’s coverage of the Champions League this season, Kerr confirmed the unusual offer.

“I had contact,” Kerr said, “two rather haphazard approaches to attend the Under-17 Euro matches. I’ve [also] had contact from Noel Mooney, who was sitting about three rows back from me at the St Pat’s Europa League game.

“He said he was disappointed that I wasn’t going to the presentations that Niall [Quinn] and Kieran Lucid were making at Abbotstown on the following Saturday. I said I wasn’t available.

“To be honest, then I got two emails off him that were just baffling. When I got the second one, I asked him not to contact me anymore. It was off the wall stuff.

An offer you can refuse

“He suggested I may have a role being a media watchdog in the future. For the FAI. I actually replied to him by saying I don’t understand what a media watchdog is but it sounds like something from the Soviet era and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t contact me anymore in relation to the FAI.

“I don’t really care if it’s public or private but he suggested that Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley had found common ground so maybe myself... ”

Kerr insists he would be open to any genuine offer to play a significant role in the restructuring of the FAI, but would be unlikely to get involved should current president Donal Conway stay on in any form.

“There are a lot of people highly qualified, possibly more qualified than me to do it, but I doubt they’d be approached unless they go through that formal channel of applying,” he said.

"I think they took advantage of the line in the (governance) report that suggested that it might be helpful to have someone stay on.

"He (Conway) had his chance. He was part of a regime that stood over the decision-making of the CEO and the style of the CEO and the ethos that was there.”