Economic guru Burns appointed to conduct FA review

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The Independent Online

Lord Burns, a diehard Queen's Park Rangers fan who influenced much of Margaret Thatcher's economic policy, has been appointed to conduct a structural review of the Football Association.

Lord Burns, a diehard Queen's Park Rangers fan who influenced much of Margaret Thatcher's economic policy, has been appointed to conduct a structural review of the Football Association.

Evidently a man capable of embracing no-hope causes and working with megalomaniacs - sure to be be useful at Soho Square - he does not baulk from controversial tasks. He headed the Government's inquiry into fox-hunting and was appointed last year as its independent adviser on the BBC charter review.

The FA review was ordered by the Government in the wake of the Faria Alam fiasco in the summer, which led to the resignation of the chief executive Mark Palios. The entire structure of the game's governing body will come under the microscope, not least the divisive amateur-professional split.

Lord Burns, 60, a career civil servant and now the chairman of the Abbey National bank, is an economist by trade. He was the chief economic adviser to the Treasury from 1980 to 1991, then the permanent secretary until 1998, when he stepped down with a life peerage. His work at the FA starts next month.

In an interview last year, he said: "Football is as unpredictable as economics, which is all about trying to understand people's behaviour and not succeeding."

The FA will look into the violence which blighted Sunday's match between Leeds and Millwall. West Yorkshire police made 10 arrests after the 1-1 draw at Elland Road, where police were called to quell fighting.

The atmosphere worsened when Jody Morris - who spent eight unhappy months at Leeds last season - taunted the crowd after scoring a late equaliser.

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