Belfast Telegraph

IFA tactics keep Jim Shaw president for Northern Ireland's European Championships finals

By Steven Beacom

The Irish FA are intent on making sure nothing spoils their Euro 2016 party...and to that end are planning to delay the election of the Association's new president, almost certain to be controversial figure David Martin, until Northern Ireland's participation in the tournament is over.

It means that Jim Shaw, respected here and abroad in football circles, will be the figurehead for the IFA in France.

Shaw became president in 2010 after his predecessor Raymond Kennedy and then treasurer Martin left the IFA with the Sports Minister at the time, Nelson McCausland, insisting no money would be handed over for the re-development of Windsor Park while the pair were still in office.

Kennedy and Martin had been strongly criticised in an independent report into the unfair dismissal of chief executive Howard Wells in 2008, costing the IFA a whopping £500,000.

Close to capsizing, Shaw helped to steady the IFA ship and although there have been some choppy waters since, the IFA are in a much stronger position now than in 2010. Shaw's tenure, though, comes to an end in the middle of next year.

The key decision makers at the Association, including chief executive Patrick Nelson and chairman Gerry Mallon, know next year's probable election of Martin as President will see them in the eye of a storm with fans and media alike, hence the tactics being put in place to delay his election until after Euro 2016, which starts on June 10.

It is a common sense approach.

There is an awareness at the IFA, however, that they will have to deal with the expected fall-out at some stage.

Martin returned to the IFA as first deputy president in 2013, after the IFA decided government requested competency tests did not have to be passed to be an office bearer.


Days to go

Belfast Telegraph