Football: Contenders in the FA stakes

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The Independent Online
CHAIRMAN

David Sheepshanks

Chairman of Ipswich and, until recently, of the Football League, where he remains vice-chairman. As such should bring greater harmony between Premiership and League. Whether he has more international aspirations time would tell. Appointed FA councillor last year, has become deeply involved in several committees including the executive. A 46-year-old millionaire with commercial nous and a love of the game at all levels.

David Dein

Arsenal's thrusting vice-chairman and a growing power on the committees of Uefa. Seen by old guard as youngish upstart riding high on football's bandwagon of increased wealth. In fact he is a devoted supporter both of Arsenal and football generally. Instrumental in making Arsenal the cosmopolitan club it is today. Not in favour of a European Super League... for the time being.

Geoff Thompson

Acting chairman. Representative of the Sheffield and Hallamshire regional FA, more closely associated with amateur and semi- professional football than professional game. One of those who investigated the Wiseman-Kelly affair and is well thought of by the rank and file who wield a large proportion of the FA's power.

Ken Bates

Chelsea's blunt chairman for whom diplomacy is a sign of weakness. Now 67 but bright as a pensioner's button. If the FA dared appoint him, there would be an almighty gnashing of dentures and crashing of Zimmer frames at Lancaster Gate. Could be just what the old organisation has been lacking all these years. Unlikely to happen, but already an active FA committee man.

CHief executive

David Davies

Acting chief executive. Ambitious former television smoothie always capable of turning pessimistic news into optimism. Helping Glenn Hoddle with that book could have got him into deep trouble, but this is the FA. Capable, intelligent and forward thinking, he is the man the other candidates will have to remove first.

Richard Scudamore

Chief Executive of the Football League, a position which gives him the most promising CV, but everything depends on whether the FA go for the best man for the job or somebody with a higher public profile. Only 39 but with a good commercial background, having worked for the Thomson Newspaper Group in the US.

Glen Kirton

Began his career as the FA's press officer and rose to become effective director of Euro 96. Left soon afterwards, accepting a job with Swiss based sports marketing group. In the running for the post when taken by Graham Kelly but considered too inexperienced. Now an administrator with good contacts on international scene. Frustrated by attitudes at FA, but still with allies.

Bobby Robson

If the FA had a mind to compensate this outstanding former England manager for pandering to the popular press after Italia 90, he would be on short list. Expected to leave Eindhoven at the end of season and though nearing retirement, experience and standing would make him substantial choice. Urbane and knowledgeable, so perhaps one experience of the FA was enough.

NORMAN FOX

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