Bernstein aims to rebuild FA's battered reputation

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The Independent Online

David Bernstein yesterday promised to repair relationships between the Football Association and the foreign game after being approved as the FA's new independent chairman.

After England's failure to win the right to host the 2018 World Cup, Bernstein is keen to strengthen ties with the global game. "I want to build stronger and more effective relationships with the various international football bodies," said Bernstein. "There are many lessons to be learnt from the events of last year."

The sports minister Hugh Robertson recently told a select committee that football was Britain's "worst-governed sport". The FA is naturally keen, therefore, to improve relations with other institutions. "Outside the football family we must increase the effectiveness of our relationships, whether it be with other sporting bodies, the government and broader stakeholders. Clearly recent developments and the forthcoming select committee hearings make this even more relevant."

As FA chairman, Bernstein hopes to stabilise football governance as well as portraying the FA's work in a better light. "The FA is an outstanding organisation with talented, committed people doing a huge amount of great work of which we should be justifiably proud. Understandably, much of this work receives little publicity due to the focus on higher profile issues. That was particularly true in 2010. By bringing stability to the top of our organisation, I hope to create an environment within which all the positive work that we do is better understood and appreciated."

As Manchester City chairman Bernstein oversaw their move to Eastlands, and at the FA will work on the National Football Centre at Burton. "The inspirational national football centre will provide the much needed focal point for our renewed emphasis on coaching. I wholeheartedly support the proposals which have been put forward in the youth development review conducted by Alex Horne and Sir Trevor Brooking."

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