NZF: Martin not pushed

8:28 pm on 29 June 2018

New Zealand Football president Deryck Shaw says the board played no role in the shock resignation of chief executive Andy Martin.

Effective immediately, Martin's decision to quit was announced on Friday afternoon and comes just 10 days after the national body confirmed 13 Football Ferns had made official complaints to the national body about coach Andreas Heraf.

That confirmation was followed the next day by NZF placing Heraf on special leave and making public their decision to conduct an independent review into the environment within the national women's team.

President Deryck Shaw said there was no pressure from the board for Martin to step down, but admitted the resignation was unexpected.

"It's his decision and we respect his decision.

"As any employee of any organisation [has], he has rights .... and we certainly respect those. He has made [this decision].

"You never know what's in front of you. I was surprised, but the board has accepted his decision and retirement and wishes him all the best."

The timing of the decision is interesting to say the least, so close to the start of the review into the Ferns.

Eight days ago Martin denied reports he had was aware of the extent of the issues within the Ferns and also said he was "comfortable" in his future as chief executive with a review looming.

But on Friday, Shaw said Martin told him "earlier this week" he was already thinking about stepping down.

"He advised me he was contemplating finishing later in the year and just thought now was an appropriate time.

"But you'd really have to talk to Andy to get a sense of his own motivations."

New Zealand Football CEO Andy Martin

New Zealand Football CEO Andy Martin Photo: © Copyright Andrew Cornaga / Photosport Ltd 2018

Martin opted not to make himself available to media for comment on Friday, instead making a three-line statement in the official release from NZF saying it was time for him to focus on his wife and family.

Martin's statement also said football in New Zealand was in "good health" and the organisation had delivered "outstanding resultS" during his four years in charge.

Shaw also referenced such positivity, but refused to be drawn on whether the board had any regrets about the way Martin had handled certain situations.

Along with the ongoing saga the saga surrounding the national women's team, the national body faced an eligibility saga and the bungling of a transfer for a Wellington Phoenix player under Martin's watch.

"It's not appropriate for me to comment on regrets, this is not a performance review of Andy," Shaw said.

"Andy's made the decision to retire, the board respects the decision .... meanwhile, we need to move on in football.

"The board sets expectations around performance, around the agreed metrics through our whole of football plan, through our financial performance and ensuring the organisation is strong and robust. Andy has attended to those deliverables.

"There's been a lot of very positive things in football over the time of Andy's tenure."

Shaw also confirmed Martin, the man in charge of NZF at the time, would make his own decision whether he participates in and is questioned as part of the Football Ferns review.

"That's really for Andy to make his own decision around that .... he has retired from his position.

"You need to talk to Andy about that."

Shaw said the board's priority was to appoint an interim chief executive, before setting out what they wanted in a new permanent head of the organisation.

Asked if NZF would be looking "locally" for Martin's replacement, Shaw said he preferred not to predetermine who might take over but added they "certainly hoped" there would be plenty of interest from within New Zealand.

The person who will undertake the Ferns investigation and the terms of reference are set to be announced next week.