NZ Football CEO resigns

By Michael Brown

New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh is leaving the organisation, according to a report from Radio Sport. Photo / Natalie Slade.
New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh is leaving the organisation, according to a report from Radio Sport. Photo / Natalie Slade.

New Zealand Football are on the lookout for a new chief executive after Grant McKavanagh announced his resignation from a position he has held for two years.

A release from NZF said McKavanagh had decided to take a short break from sports administration.

"I have really enjoyed and thrived in this role and I am proud of my part in the continuing development of the Whole of Football programme, the renewed partnership and strategy development with the federations and the rise of women's football and futsal,'' he said in a statement. "Maintaining the organisation's financial surpluses and the international programmes and Olympic successes are other highlights.

"The last two years has seen New Zealand Football evolve quite dramatically with new structures and processes put in place and, going forward, I feel the next period of evolvement for NZ Football requires a different skill set than mine to deliver the next cycle of development.

"Having also finalised the venue and structure for the intercontinental playoff in November, the time is right for me now to step aside.''

The timing is unusual, with the All Whites about to tackle the fourth-best team from North and Central America for a place at next year's World Cup in Brazil. New Zealand are also due to host the 2015 Under-20 World Cup.

An announcement on the venue for the home leg of November's playoff is expected soon, with Wellington the most likely venue. The end of the World Cup cycle - whether that's in November or next July - seems a more logical time to step aside.

"Football and indeed sport management is a complex and difficult area to work in with many competing stakeholders, the inevitable struggle for sustainable funding and resources and a large agenda,'' NZF chairman Frank van Hattum said. "Grant has maintained the agenda and strategy development over the last two-and-a-half years.

The continuation of the Whole of Football programme, the rise of futsal and women's football, the games commitment to a new three-year strategy plan and maintaining New Zealand Football's modest surpluses are all areas that Grant can take pride in.''

McKavanagh will finish on July 12 but will continue to assist the board in their transition to a new chief executive and in advancing several projects.

- APNZ

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