Lee makes FA shortlist after reviving London Bid

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A key member of the London Bid to host the Olympic Games in 2012 has been shortlisted for the vacant position to run the Football Association.

A key member of the London Bid to host the Olympic Games in 2012 has been shortlisted for the vacant position to run the Football Association.

Mike Lee, the director of communications at London 2012 and special advisor to its leader, Sebastian Coe, is among the 10 final candidates recently put forward for the chief executive's job.

The shortlist will be reduced to three candidates to be interviewed by the FA board at the end of November before a replacement to the former chief executive, Mark Palios, is appointed in February next year.

It is unlikely that Lee, considered at this stage an outsider for the job, would be prepared to leave his £75,000-a-year position at London 2012 until the final vote for an Olympic host city is taken in July next year.

Lee began his career in local politics in Leicester and spent four years working as special advisor to David Blunkett before he became director of communications at Uefa, European football's governing body.

The Bid team's external communications were in disarray before his arrival last January and he has since overseen the change of chairmanship from Barbara Cassani to Lord Coe.

Other names linked to the top job at Soho Square are Trevor Birch, who has held the same role at Leeds, Everton and Chelsea, and Richard Scudamore who has stated that he is content in his current position as Premier League chief executive.

A spokesman for the FA declined to comment yesterday on the names on the shortlist.

Elsewhere, South America is looking at alternatives to its present 10-nation, 18-match single group qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup.

"There is agreement that these qualifiers are costly and very long," said Nestor Benitez, press officer for the South American Confederation. Poor economic conditions in the region and the complaints of European clubs over the number of times their South American internationals are called away on World Cup duty were reasons for a rethink, Benitez said.

One suggestion for an alternative system was two groups of five in a round-robin tournament with each team playing four matches and the top three in each going into a final group of six. These six best teams would play nine matches each in total.

Comments