The Irish Football Association has taken the first major step towards making senior football within Northern Ireland responsible for itself.
When the Irish FA Premiership was set up in 2008 former IFA chief executive Howard Wells explained that the intention was to set-up a subsidiary company to take care of the affairs of the domestic league — and that will now happen within the next 12 months.
The IFA has invited applications for the post of Managing Director, on a salary of £50,000, with the advertisement placed in the Belfast Telegraph Jobfinder as well as on the association’s website.
And with the closing date for applications just two weeks away it seems the intention is for the post to be filled very quickly.
The advert reads: “The Irish Football Association is setting up a new company to manage the top three football leagues in Northern Ireland from the season 2013-14 onwards.”
Since the Irish Football League was disbanded a decade ago the IFA has been in control of senior football, while the top two levels of the intermediate game are also governed from within Windsor Avenue.
The IFA, however, are now in a rush to move things on.
“One of the Articles of Association says that we don’t run individual leagues, so we want to give the senior league a fresh start and for the Premiership and Championship to have overall control of themselves,” IFA President Jim Shaw told the Belfast Telegraph.
“The objective is for that to happen by the start of the season after next, which is still over a year away, but the process has to start now.
“It takes time to go through a recruitment process for a post like this, which is why it needs to start now and for the person to be settled into the job before the split takes place.”
Other positions within the new operation are expected to be filled by those currently working in the same roles within the IFA.