Mark Palios, a professional footballer turned chartered account, walked into the Football Association yesterday ready to consult financial experts as he plots the way forward for the game in England.
The 50-year-old, a former Tranmere Rovers and Crewe Alexandra player, has returned to the calling which first gave him his livelihood after forging a career in the business world, most recently as PriceWaterhouseCoopers' UK leader for business regeneration.
Palios, who succeeds Adam Crozier at Soho Square, has been handed the task of steering the FA through one of the most difficult periods in its history, drawing together the often disparate voices of the game in this country while at the same time cementing its position in Europe and seeing through the controversial £750m redevelopment of Wembley Stadium amid a financial crisis.
"Football is a great game, but it is a relatively diverse and complex business," he said. "There are many people in the game with considerably more experience of running football than me, including some very experienced and committed people here at the FA. I want to spend my first few weeks in the job getting to know my management team and staff, but also taking time to meet with colleagues in the various football bodies...
"Our financial position has been stabilised in recent weeks and we must now review and agree the FA's priorities and determine the necessary funding strategy to support them."