LONDON: Next May could be a very big month for Manchester United chief executive David Gill writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
He has been nominated by the Football Association for a vacancy on the executive committee of European federation UEFA. Voting takes place at its annual congress in London on the eve of the Champions League Final at Wembley – at which Gill is hoping to United chasing a fourth top European crown.
Gill has been nominated because eight seats are falling vacant, among them that of former FA chairman Geoff Thompson who has represented the FA in the role since 2009.
An FA statement read: “The FA Board on Thursday agreed to nominate David Gill as its candidate for the upcoming UEFA Executive Committee membership election. Gill, Chief Executive of Manchester United Football Club and an FA Board member, has been proposed ahead of next year’s elections at UEFA Congress in London.
“Geoff Thompson, who has represented The FA on UEFA’s Executive Committee since 2000, steps down in May leaving a vacant position for an elected representative.”
Gill joined Manchester United in 1997 becoming first financial director then succeeding Peter Kenyon as chief executive in 2003 when the latter left United to take over at Chelsea, then newly-acquired by Roman Abramovich.
He has trodden, with success, a delicate diplomatic path in continuing to run the club under the Glazers while maintaining his credibility with the fans and, most important, manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Gill has said that, if elected, he would stand down from his position on the board of the European Clubs Association.
He added: “I fully understand that I will be representing the FA, I have been on the FA board for a number of years so I believe given my experience of club football and the way the FA operates I can play a key part in ensuring England is heard at the top table in UEFA. I fully understand the role and responsibility and who you are representing.”
He added: “I think you have seen a real sea change in UEFA over the last few years under Michel Platini’s presidency and the change in the relationship between clubs and UEFA as evidenced by what they have done on insurance and pay for players on [international duty] so we are all moving in the same direction. I have to make the case and explain why I think I could be a valuable member of that body.”
Platini said: “For me it is a decision of the FA. David Gill will run and he has to convince the voters to vote for him. But we have members of the executive committee who work in some clubs.”
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