FA board meet over Watmore resignation

Football Association board members are to hold an emergency meeting at noon today after being thrown into turmoil by the resignation of Ian Watmore as chief executive.

Watmore had been in the post for less than a year but had become increasingly frustrated with his proposals being thwarted. He opposed the slow-moving committee structure of the FA, and believed he was being blocked by Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards on a number of issues.

FA chairman Lord Triesman said he spent the weekend trying to persuade Watmore to withdraw the resignation letter he handed in on Friday and said: "Ian Watmore tendered his resignation to me on Friday. I asked him to reconsider over the weekend. However, he has confirmed that his position remains unchanged and I have accepted it with great regret."

If Watmore had second thoughts about resigning they were swiftly dispelled after details of an email sent out to FA members about the appointment of new communications director Julian Eccles was leaked at the weekend.

In response to the leak, Watmore sent out an angry email to board members, several of whom were in turn infuriated by the tone of the email and demanded a showdown with the chief executive.

Watmore's feelings about Richards came as a surprise to some in the Premier League as chief executive Richard Scudamore had got on well with him.

Watmore felt that Richards, who sits on a number of FA committees, consistently blocked decisions even if, taken in isolation, none of the issues involved were major.

An FA spokesman said: "Ian has made his decision but has been very clear it was not about personalities."

Watmore's resignation means there will be now be a seventh chief executive within 11 years: Graham Kelly, David Davies (in an acting capacity), Adam Crozier, Mark Palios, Brian Barwick, Watmore and his successor.

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