Eriksson could quit amid shift in power

England manager may be among future departures after Crozier falls victim to increasing influence of leading club chairmen

The prospect of Sven Goran Eriksson following Adam Crozier out of the Football Association's Soho Square headquarters increased last night as it was revealed that the England manager was "devastated" by the chief executive's resignation. Eriksson was appointed by Crozier and has grown close to the Scot after the support he provided during the Ulrika Jonsson scandal.

Earlier this week Athole Still, Eriksson's agent, conveyed his client's support for Crozier. He later insisted Eriksson would not resign if Crozier left. However, given that Eriksson's relations with the clubs could now prove more troublesome, he may yet go. He could decide, after seeing Crozier hunted down by a media pack, to walk away before he suffers a similar fate.

Paul Newman, the FA's media director, said Eriksson was "devastated, very shocked and very saddened" by Crozier's decision. Newman, however, said Eriksson would be staying on. "His mood is reflected among FA staff," he added. "It is extremely sad that a man of that calibre has to resign. It cannot be good news for English football."

The rebuilding of Wembley Stadium may be endangered by Crozier's exit, especially if Paul Barber, Crozier's right-hand man and a successful director of marketing, leaves. The men were prime movers in arranging the finance deal which finally brought the national stadium saga to a conclusion.

The FA chairman, Geoff Thompson, will at least feel that, having acceded to the clubs' bidding, his re-election is secure. Thompson had accepted Crozier's resignation with "great regret and sadness". After praising his impact he added: "Adam's decision is based on two key principles. The three-year change programme he initiated in January 2000 is coming to a natural end. And a difference of opinion over how the game should be run and regulated. It is on this second issue that Adam does not feel he can compromise."

That issue was the formation of a Professional Game Board proposed by Premiership clubs to administer the élite and the Nationwide League. Its operation would leave the professional game largely autonomous of the FA and take a greater share of commercial income either directly or, by altered sponsorship deals, indirectly. This Crozier could not accept.

Dave Hanson, the Devon FA representative and a member of the FA Board, said: "I don't think Adam would compromise on the demands of the Premier League in trying to gain more control over the FA."

Crozier, 38, joined the FA from Saatchi and Saatchi and may now return to industry, though it would not be a surprise if his talents were accommodated within the game. He will certainly be in demand.

The FA is unlikely to rush into choosing a replacement. Coincidentally, one of the leading candidates last time, David Moffett, yesterday agreed to become the Welsh Rugby Union's first group chief executive. Another is Glen Kirton, who masterminded Euro 96 and headed the football department at the now-defunct sports marketing group ISL. The former international Trevor Brooking, given his experience in the media and at Sport England, is an outside contender.

There is one other intriguing prospect. Although Crozier has resigned, he will stay at his post until a successor is found. Might some accommodation be found? At present this is unlikely. Crozier's predecessor, Graham Kelly, said: "It will not be easy to fill his shoes." This is especially the case since talented men may steer clear. Crozier went because he refused to obey the club chairmen. With the FA emasculated, now more than ever they will hold the balance of power in the English game. The ramifications of this potentially conclusive development in the 114-year-old struggle between the professional and amateur wings of the game will be far-reaching. In the long term the game's riches will continue to gravitate towards the wealthy. That, though, has been the case since clubs were allowed to keep gate receipts two decades ago. More significant is that the chairmen are more powerful than the administrators. This will make it harder to bring to book those who abuse their position. Expect to see a job advertisement reading: "Wanted: Chief executive who is prepared to do as he is told."

Crozier's statement

"I am extremely proud to have been asked to lead the FA through a very important and exciting period in its history.

"I have enjoyed and am grateful for the support and co-operation of so many people throughout football at all levels ­ the clubs, their players, the managers, coaches and supporters ­ and in the various organisations, agencies and authorities that work with the FA to develop the game in this country.

"I have also benefited from the fantastic support and professionalism of my staff and colleagues at the FA over the past three years.

"I'm extremely grateful to all of them for their hard work and commitment during a period of great change and for achieving such outstanding results.

"It will be difficult for me to leave a job that I have enjoyed so much and which has given me so much satisfaction.

"It has been a privilege to have combined my love of football with my career. I will however leave the FA with a sense of pride in our achievements and satisfaction with the progress we have made.

"I wish everyone at the FA considerable success for the future."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Lars Ulrich of Metallica performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform