Southgate set to play the Beckenbauer role – as an administrator

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Gareth Southgate said yesterday that he wanted to be the first former England international of his generation to take on a senior executive role in the game, rather than a return to management, as he was appointed the Football Association's new head of elite development.

Southgate, 40, used the example of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the chief executive at Bayern Munich, who is one of many former Germany internationals in senior positions in the German game, as a career path that he would be interested in. Southgate's new job will be as a liaison between the FA and the Premier League and Football League clubs whose players feature in the junior England sides.

The role is a much-changed version from the original FA proposal after the summer World Cup finals to put a young English coach on Fabio Capello's staff, which was quietly abandoned by the FA.

Southgate said that he would like to follow the European model in which famous former players such as Rummenigge, Michel Platini and Franz Beckenbauer have been used as administrators and at clubs and national level as well as pursuing political careers within Fifa and Uefa.

Southgate said: "Going to Champions League matches as a pundit you go to Bayern Munich and Inter Milan and see the likes of Rummenigge and Luis Figo working behind the scenes in administrative roles and that is something that does quite appeal to me.

"When you work as a manager you see that there are so many facets of a football club and all those aspects are enjoyable. I would like to make a significant difference in the long term and certainly at the moment the career of a manager seems to be a short-term job."

Southgate, who will continue as a pundit with ITV covering England games in conjunction with an initial 18-month working timeframe with the FA, said that he was not taking the job as a stepping stone to the England manager's job.

"That's not a role I'm looking toward," he said. "I don't see it as a 'tracksuit role'. If John Peacock [coach of England Under-17s] wants me to help out by coaching his centre-backs for 15 minutes I am happy to do it but that is not the reason I came in. My relationship with the other clubs and with the League Managers' Association is far more important.

"I know Fabio and Franco Baldini [Capello's general manager] but it is not for me to be involved with them. It is not for me to be peering over their shoulder or that of Stuart Pearce [the Under-21 manager]."

Southgate, who has completed his Pro Licence qualification, will also work with Sir Trevor Brooking on implementing the FA's latest review of coaching for five- to 16-year-olds.

"In my three and a half years as a coach I learnt a tremendous amount," Southgate said. "Having had a period of reflection [since leaving Middlesbrough in 2009] I know there are other things I would like to experience and get involved in."