Dein in pole to become FA chairman

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David Dein is the front-runner to be chosen as the new Football Association chairman when board members gather tomorrow for one of their most important meetings in recent history.

Dein, the 67-year-old former Arsenal and FA vice-chairman, has emerged as the favourite to secure the position.



The appointment is not the only major issue however - the board will also hear a post mortem of England's failure to host the 2018 World Cup from bid chief executive Andy Anson, and the first details of a review of international player development from Sir Trevor Brooking and general secretary Alex Horne.



The appointment of a new permanent chairman follows Lord Triesman's enforced resignation in May.



Bolton chairman Phil Gartside is head of the nominations committee appointed to find Triesman's successor, and he is expected to present one name, or possibly two, to fellow board members tomorrow.



Acting chairman Roger Burden was initially the favourite until he withdrew his application following England 2018's controversial World Cup defeat on the grounds that he "could not trust" Fifa.



Sir Keith Mills, the deputy chairman of the London 2012 Olympics and a Tottenham board member, was viewed as another potential candidate but he has ruled himself out on the grounds of lack of time, leaving Dein as the outright favourite.



Other names linked with the post include Andrew Croker, son of ex-FA general secretary Ted Croker, and ex-Football League chairman David Sheepshanks.



Dein has not always seen eye to eye with Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards, but it is understood he will not try to block his appointment.



Appointing Dein would also be welcomed by the Government who are watching proceedings carefully before making any moves to reform the governance of the organisation.



Dein impressed ministers as international president of England's 2018 bid, even if his efforts came to nothing, and he has good connections to Uefa and Fifa.



The only possible fly in the ointment is in respect of his age - under current rules the chairman has to stand down when he is 70, meaning Dein would only have three years in office.



Former sports minister Richard Caborn, whose term in that office coincided with the Burns report that led to changes in the structure of the FA, said: "I believe that from the FA's point of view David Dein would be a good choice.



"He's respected both nationally and internationally and he has a good rapport with all parts of the game.



"We need to build bridges with Fifa and Uefa, and restore the authority and the respect of the governing body and he would be a good choice to do that."



The Brooking/Horne review into international player development will recommend changes to youth football aimed at developing a stream of talented young players for the national teams.



The review was ordered following England's dismal showing at the World Cup in South Africa.



In terms of the 2018 World Cup bid, Anson is likely to tell board members there is little point in bidding again unless Fifa change the process and making voting and bidding more transparent.

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