Former Manchester City chairman David Bernstein has been nominated as the next chairman of the Football Association, English soccer’s ruling body.
“David was the outstanding candidate for the role,” Phil Gartside, who headed the nominations committee, said in a statement on the F.A. website. “He combines strong business and leadership skills with tremendous insight and knowledge of football.”
The new chairman faces the task of reviving English soccer after a turbulent year that saw the national team crash out of the World Cup in the round of 16 in June, then fail to win 2018 hosting rights for the tournament.
Bernstein, 67, served nine years on the board of Manchester City, including five years as chairman. During that period, the club returned to the Premier League and moved to the new Eastlands stadium. A chartered accountant, Bernstein has been on the boards of several public companies including French Connection Group Plc, Ted Baker Plc and Blacks Leisure Plc, where he has been chairman since 1996. Since 2003 he has been a director of Wembley Stadium and chairman since 2008.
“I am honored to be asked to take on the role as chairman of the F.A.,” Bernstein said in the statement. “It is a tremendous challenge but I look forward to working with the board, the staff at the F.A. and everyone in football from local playing fields to Wembley and the international stage.”
Bernstein’s nomination was approved unanimously by the F.A. board today. The F.A. Council will be asked to endorse his appointment at its meeting on Jan. 25, the statement said.
Bernstein will succeed David Triesman, who resigned as chairman of the F.A. and of England’s bid to stage the 2018 World Cup in May after the U.K.’s Mail on Sunday reported allegations he made about rival bidders Spain and Russia.
David Dein, a former vice-chairman of Arsenal and the F.A., had been widely expected to get the F.A. role. Dein, 67, also served as international president in England’s 2018 World Cup bid.
Roger Burden, who stood in as acting chairman after Triesman stepped down, had previously been expected to get the post on a permanent basis but withdrew his name after England’s bid received only two votes in the first round of voting at soccer ruling body FIFA’s executive committee meeting on Dec. 2. Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
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