'They are going to find it difficult to fill his shoes'

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The Independent Football

Adam Crozier's predecessor as chief executive at the Football Association, Graham Kelly, felt sympathy for the Scot after his decision to resign yesterday.

Kelly, who held the FA position until 1998 and is now an Independent columnist, said: "I think they're going to find it very difficult to fill his shoes. It's a tug of war between the interests of the England team and the financial interests of the clubs – and I've been very sceptical about some of the things the clubs have been saying.

"Adam Crozier extracted the FA from a very difficult situation with Wembley. The old one is being knocked down, but if you look at the balance sheet he would point to it being a success. It's been a very thorny issue and there is the argument whether they should be spending £750m on a new stadium when clubs have financial problems. But Adam Crozier has got the show on the road so I'd side with him on this issue."

Over the dispute with the Premier League, Kelly added: "They need to get the warring factions round the table. It's the same sort of thing that led to the departure of the previous chairman [Keith Wiseman] and myself four years ago."

Leeds United's chairman, Peter Ridsdale, writing in the programme for last night's Uefa Cup tie against Hapeol Tel Aviv, said the problems between the Crozier and the club chairmen "are not about 'money' and 'greedy clubs'. They stem from corporate governance and directors being properly involved in those decisions that affect the game as a whole."