Barwick signals 'new chapter' for FA

Brian Barwick admits it is "time for a new chapter at the Football Association" after last night's confirmation he is to step down as chief executive.

Less than four years after being appointed as the successor to Mark Palios, Barwick's departure was revealed last night amid reports of a fall-out with FA chairman Lord Triesman over his precise role within the organisation.

Speaking this morning, Barwick revealed his regret at having to step aside but insisted the timing of his departure was right.

"I'm very sad and disappointed to leave, but it's obviously time for a new chapter at the Football Association," he told Sky Sports News.

"I only wish it well. It's a terrific place, full of terrific people."

Barwick has no regrets about his time in charge of the FA - which saw the opening of Wembley Stadium, the belated sanctioning of the National Football Centre and the troubled appointment of Steve McClaren as England manager in 2006, after a very public courting of Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Barwick cites the recently launched Respect campaign, aimed at improving behaviour among players and spectators, as a reason for particular pride.

"We've moved the organisation on leaps and bounds, and that's really important to me," he added.

"If I have a genuine legacy, we were sitting in a big stadium last night - it's probably one of the finest in the world - and the Respect programme is very special to me.

"In this sort of job you have an opportunity to make a difference - and if I, in a very small way, improved behaviour on and off the pitch, that'll do me."

Barwick refused to comment on reports of a breakdown in relations with Labour peer Lord Triesman, merely saying: "The reasons for me leaving the organisation, cited in the statement, I'm very comfortable with."

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