KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Jonathan Ford is leaving his role as ceo of the Football Association of Wales in the wake of vote of no confidence by the body’s council.

The flashpoint is reported to have been Ford’s appointment to the staff of a former senior Post Office official who was heavy criticised by a judge for her role in a scandal which saw postmasters and their families having their lives wrecked by a faulty software system.

Ford, who was appointed in 2009, had been placed on gardening leave after a vote of no confidence from the FAW’s ruling council last month. The FAW has now confirmed afternoon he will be officially leaving the job at the end of the month.

Council members, other officials, clubs and fans had all criticised Ford’s appointment of Angela van den Bogerd as the FAW’s head of people.

Van den Bogerd was previously business improvement director of the Post Office and was fiercely criticised by a High Court Judge in a case emanating from the wrongful imprisonment of over 40 sub-postmasters.

A 300-page court judgement handed down in March 2019, saw High Court Judge Peter Fraser strongly criticise Mrs van den Bogerd for her role in the saga, stating: “There were two specific matters where [she] did not give me frank evidence, and sought to obfuscate matters, and mislead me.”

Ford’s departure could hardly have come at a more delicate time amid the Covid-19 pandemic and with uncertainty over the future of national year manager Ryan Giggs three months ahead of the European Championships finals.

Doubts are continuing to linger over the immediate future of manager Ryan Giggs and whether he will take charge of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with Belgium and the Czech Republic.

FAW statement:

The Football Association of Wales can confirm that Jonathan Ford will step down from his position as Chief Executive of the Association on 31 March 2021.

Since Mr Ford’s appointment in 2009, the FAW’s profile in European and world football has greatly increased and there has been significant improvements in world class facilities including the National Training and Development Centres at Dragon Park, Newport and Colliers Park, Wrexham and the new National Elite Centre and FAW Head Quarters at Hensol, near Cardiff.

During his tenure, Wales has hosted several prestigious events such as the UEFA U19’s European Championships in 2013, the UEFA Super Cup Final in 2014 and the women’s and men’s Champions League Finals in 2017.

The men’s national team reached the semi-finals of EURO 2016 and secured back-to-back Euro qualification for the first time and were promoted to the top division of the UEFA Nations League in 2020 as group winners.

The FAW would like to place on record its gratitude to Mr Ford for his efforts over the past 11 years and wish him the best for future endeavours. The FAW will not be making any further comment at this current time.”