On Tuesday, 20 April, the Scottish FA’s Vice-President Mike Mulraney will stand to be the next FIFA Vice-President for Europe at the 45th UEFA Ordinary Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
In a role which holds responsibility to the 211 members of world football’s governing body, FIFA, and responsibility to the 55 members of European confederation, UEFA, Mulraney will compete for the position against candidates from the Football Association of Wales and the Irish FA.
Mulraney is aiming to become the first Scotsman to hold the post of FIFA Vice-President since David Will in 1990.
In a Q&A with the Scottish FA website, Mike Mulraney revealed his ambitions and aims.
What would you be looking to achieve as FIFA Vice-President in your two year term?
If successful, I will commit to working tirelessly to promote the objective of growing the game, and especially to accelerate the development of girls’ and women’s football.
I am also committed to delivering the highest standards of good governance by word and, more importantly, by action. I would strive to achieve a fairer competitive balance, using my experience at part-time club, Alloa Athletic, who have operated in a full-time competitive environment.
Fans are the lifeblood of the game, and their absence has been sorely missed during the pandemic. I would aim to place them at the heart of my decision-making processes, and ensure football remains relevant and beloved by future generations.
What personal attributes will you bring to the role?
Whilst I may be experienced, I am also young enough to be able to provide longevity and vitality to the role of FIFA Vice-President. I will ensure that technology is at the forefront of how I manage my accessibility to my colleagues. I work throughout Europe with business interests that require me to be available to everyone, no matter the enquiry or the time of day, so this is something I have a lot of experience in.
I have always possessed the ability to empathise with members and seek consensus through a strong network within the game. This has already enabled me to represent the wider interests of Scottish football as Chair of the Professional Game Board of the Scottish FA.
In 2019, I was proud to have been elected unopposed by more than 100 members to become Vice-President and this appointment coincided with the unprecedented challenges imposed on Scottish football as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through hard work and collaboration with Scottish Government, our league bodies from the length and breadth of the Scottish football pyramid, we are emerging from the pandemic with all member clubs and football’s financial health intact.
If selected, I aim to be an open and honest communicator with governing bodies across the world and be a constant tower of support for all who require guidance and assistance.
How important is it that football as a whole emerges strongly from the pandemic and how would you help ensure that it does?
It is imperative that we make inroads into reconnecting football, from local communities to continents, as we emerge from COVID-19.
We must redouble our efforts to make football as accessible to every girl as it is to every boy in every pitch or playground in the world and achieve greater diversity and representation of all groups and remove barriers that are real or perceived.
We also need to achieve ever greater balance: between all areas of the game whether it be between clubs and national teams or elite football and grassroots.
The Power of Football is a phrase that is often used to harness the socio-economic and health benefits of the national sport in Scotland. This fundamental tenet is true among our 55 nations across Europe and 211 member associations across the global football family. I am motivated to make a difference.
What benefit would your appointment have for Scottish football as a whole?
I am extremely proud to hold the position of Vice-President at the Scottish FA and aim to represent the country within the two most influential bodies in world football, UEFA and FIFA. Having a voice at the top table would allow Scotland to once again lead from the front and not only have a crucial say in decisions that will affect everyone in the game but also voice the opinions of the country in order to make positive changes.