More FA jobs to go after exit of Barwick
Sunday 24 August 2008
The Football Association are determined to press on with the same management structure for both their internal organisation and the 2018 World Cup bid despite the conflicts leading to the announcement on Wednesday that Brian Barwick will be leaving Soho Square.
One of the reasons for Barwick's disenchantment was that many of his responsibilities have been devolved to the recently appointed Alex Horne, whose title is "chief operating officer and director of finance". Among Horne's responsibilities are Wembley, the National Football Centre at Burton, which is due to be fully operational in the next 18 months, commercial and corporate services. A new chief executive will still be appointed, however. Horne, who was managing director of Wembley Stadium, is expected to be a strong candidate, given his business experience and expertise.
Meanwhile, the structure of the World Cup bid will also include a chairman, chief executive and chief operating officer. Lord Triesman will double up as chairman of both the FA and the bid, and is looking for a high-profile chief executive. Simon Johnson, currently acting chief operating officer, may find his position in jeopardy.
Adrian Bevington, the director of communications, is undertood to be relaxed about his role, but there could be more casualties under the new structure, which was set out as part of the "FA's Vision" document published three months ago.
Other positions to be filled include chief executive of Wembley and a performance director to work on the football side alongside Sir Trevor Brooking and the England coaches.
Nobody at the FA is denying that Triesman, a Labour peer who became chairman in January, found former ITV head of sport Barwick lacking in required business skills and experience.
"In the end it was like any other business," one source said. "Someone new comes in at the top and has a view on how to take the company forward. He looked at it and didn't think Brian was the identifit [sic] for what they wanted. They talked about it for five or six weeks and Brian accepted it and that was that."
One FA councillor said: "Johnson and Barwick were close allies and Johnson was moved to be interim head of the World Cup bid as a way of separating them. But Triesman is not simply a politician, he's a good grass-roots football man, who's introduced some good governance to the organisation.
"It's just ironic that Brian and [former FA chairman] Geoff Thompson pushed for the Burns Report to be implemented, and as a result of it and a new independent chairman coming in, they've both now lost their jobs."
The deadline for World Cup bids is December 2010 and a decision on both the 2018 and 2022 hosts will be made by Fifa in April 2011. England will face competition from China, Australia and the United States.
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