Horne selected to succeed Watmore at FA

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Alex Horne has been appointed general secretary of the Football Association on a permanent basis as a successor to Ian Watmore, who walked out as chief executive in March.

Horne, who was acting chief executive, was handed his new role following an FA board meeting yesterday, when Roger Burden was also made acting chairman until a new independent chairman can be appointed to succeed Lord Triesman.

Horne is a former managing director of Wembley Stadium and for the last two years has been the FA's chief operating officer. Burden, who could be acting chairman until the end of the year while the search for a permanent appointment takes place, said: "The board has been greatly impressed by the work that Alex Horne has done in his seven years at the FA.

"As a board we will now draw breath to define the role and search for a new independent, non-executive chairman. We will be seeking an individual who has football understanding and who can oversee the broad business of the Football Association."

Horne has a strong financial background – he qualified as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, specialising in business improvement and corporate turnarounds, and joined the FA in 2003 as finance director. He also impressed FA officials in how he handled the tricky negotiations with Wembley's constructors Multiplex during the handover of the stadium to the FA.

Horne said: "I am delighted that the board has asked me to take this role in leading the FA Group. I have enjoyed my seven years in various roles with the FA and am looking forward to this exciting challenge."