LONDON: David Bernstein will not, after all, be able to stay on as chairman of the Football Association beyond his 70th birthday despite the best efforts of the FA board.
The former Manchester City and Wembley business leader had hoped that a move to allow him to beat the rulebook would see his continuation in the role he landed at the start of 2011. However such a proposal been rejected by the all-powerful FA Council.
The FA board has also failed in a proposal for its members to be paid a retainer and increased daily allowances; this proposal was withdrawn without a vote being taken.
Bernstein, who said he respected the decision, replaced Lord Triesman in December 2010 after a newspaper sting.
While widely respected for his leadership within the FA, Bernstein appeared less sure-footed on the international stage. He set back England’s relations with many foreign associations with his vain bid to delay the FIFA presidential election in 2011 and he provoked the departure of Fabio Capello by not consulting the then England manager over last spring’s decision to strip John Terry of the national team captaincy.
Bernstein said: “I respect the decision and I remain committed to fulfilling my responsibilities and to building on what we have achieved over the past two years. Next year is a significant one in the FA’s history and I look forward to leading the organisation in the months ahead.”
The FA board had unanimously backed Bernstein’s bid to stay on but he will now leave leave in the middle of the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations next May.
An FA statement read: “The board had asked the chairman to continue beyond next May until summer 2014 and it subsequently put forward the proposal to today’s FA council meeting.
“Despite strong support for the chairman’s ongoing leadership, in a close vote the council voted against the amendment on the basis that it would be inappropriate to change known and agreed rules on an individual basis.”
David Gill, chief executive of Manchester United, has been appointd a vice-chairman of the FA.
Gill had been proposed by the Professional Game Board to replace Sir Dave Richards in the role. The recommendation was endorsed by the FA Board and then approved by the Council’s professional game representatives.
He said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed. The health and success of the Football Association is vital to the future of the game in England and I hope to justify the Board’s faith in me by helping to shape discussions and actions to deliver that.”
Gill, who has served on the FA board for six years, will join Roger Burden, who represents the National Game, as one of two FA vice-chairmen. He has also been put forward as the English FA candidate for the UEFA executive committee when elections take place at the UEFA Congress in London next May.
# # #