Irish Football Association President Conrad Kirkwood is set to be left with “a bloody nose” at tomorrow night’s IFA Extraordinary General Meeting, according to Council sources.
The Irish FA has brought forward two proposals for article changes at the EGM, to be held on Zoom due to “the current climate”.
One of the proposals asks IFA member clubs to accept an article change to allow a representative of the Northern Ireland Futsal Federation onto the IFA Council.
The proposal was put forward at a previous EGM late last year and was not accepted, so a determined Association called another EGM to put the proposal forward again.
However, Sunday Life Sport understands a cadre of club representatives are set to block the move in what is seen by observers as a mini-revolt.
With a membership of over 900, only around 100 members would need to vote against the proposal to bring it down.
The cadre are largely but not exclusively senior club representatives, still smarting over the events leading up to and following Gerard Lawlor’s decision to step down from the ruling IFA Board.
The current Northern Ireland Football League Chief Executive was told by Board Chairman Stephen Martin that he held a conflict of interest when he stepped down as Cliftonville Chairman last year to take up his role at NIFL.
Sources insist Lawlor agreed to step down from the Board on the understanding that a representative from senior clubs would fill the vacancy.
However, as Sunday Life Sport reported last week, Glentoran representative Stephen Henderson (below) was blocked from standing as President Kirkwood’s confidante Michael Mezza was put forward to fill the vacancy on the Board, though this move is under appeal.
This was seen as a betrayal by senior clubs, who are now intent on blocking the article change to give Futsal a place on Council, seen by many as a move to increase Kirkwood’s support at Council level.
“If this proposal is blocked again, it will be seen as an embarrassment to Conrad and the IFA senior executives,” said one Council insider.
“A lot of people feel let down by the President over the issue of replacing Gerard Lawlor and this is their way of leaving him with a bloody nose.”
There are three other proposals to be voted on tomorrow, another from the Irish FA and two from the North West FA.
The latter two hope to lift the current barrier to representatives sitting on Council if a) they are 75 or over; and b) they have served 20 years on Council, whether consecutive or not.
The North West say these barriers are “ageist” but it remains to be seen if this vote will be carried as there is concern that the proposal hinders new and younger involvement on Council.