Martin Glenn to step down as Football Association chief executive at end of 2018/19 season

The former CEO of United Biscuits will leave English football's governing body in May after four years in charge

Thursday 13 December 2018 13:06
Martin Glenn has been credited among his peers for being the ‘spark’ that finally focused the FA into taking grassroots football seriously (Gett
Martin Glenn has been credited among his peers for being the ‘spark’ that finally focused the FA into taking grassroots football seriously (Gett

Martin Glenn is to step down from his role as chief executive of the Football Association at the end of the 2018/19 season, the governing body has announced.

In a statement issued on their official website, the FA confirmed that Glenn made the decision to depart in May and praised him for leaving "very strong foundations for his successor".

Explaining his decision, Glenn said: "When I accepted the role of CEO at The FA, I was tasked with improving the effectiveness of the organisation and making it financially secure.

"I also joined with the strong belief that the England team's performance in tournaments could and should improve, and that the experience of the millions of people who play football could be a better one.

"I will leave feeling proud of the success of the performance of all the England teams. I am confident that we have established in St. George’s Park, a world class centre which will ensure that the teams will continue to build on their current successes. I hope that The FA will be able to build on this by accelerating the breakthrough of English qualified players into the first teams.

"Running The FA has been a huge honour and a privilege but I have only been able to achieve what I have been able to thanks to everyone who works here. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my staff for their commitment and dedication to running our national game.

"Football has a role in society far bigger than the game itself and undeniably makes us richer on many levels whether it be mass participation for both men and increasingly women, or the tremendous global appeal of our professional game. It has been a pleasure playing a part in this wonderful game."

FA chairman Greg Clarke added: "On behalf of the Board of The FA, I would like to thank Martin for building and leading a senior management team that has transformed our organisation.

"His integrity, commitment, energy and passion for football has underpinned the improvements on and off the pitch. The resulting commercial success has funded hugely significant change in the women’s game, St. George’s Park, the FA Cup and the national teams.

Glenn was also responsible for the appointment of Southgate as England manager

"Martin leaves as his legacy an organisation that is fit for purpose, more diverse, internationally respected and ready to progress to the next level.

"I and the organisation will miss his effective, principled and compassionate leadership and wish him well."

Glenn leaves the FA on a high thanks to the remarkable success of England men's senior team under Gareth Southgate, but his tenure as CEO was not short of controversy.

He also presided over England's shambolic Euro 2016 campaign under Roy Hodgson, before notoriously declaring "I'm not a football expert" as he prepared to lead the search for the Crystal Palace manager's successor.

Former Chelsea star and England international Eni Aluko accused Glenn of actions that "bordered on blackmail" after claiming that Glenn had withheld part of an £80,000 settlement she had reached with the FA and demanded that she issue a statement clearing the organisation of racism.

Glenn was called before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee at a hearing into the FA's handling of accusations that former England Women's team manager Mark Sampson made racially insensitive remarks to Aluko and Drew Spence.

His performance at the hearing was roundly criticised and the FA was forced to issue a formal apology to Aluko, but neither he nor FA chairman Clarke felt compelled to resign.

In a separate incident earlier this year, Glenn apologised after referencing the Star of David as one of the symbols that he believes breaches laws banning political and religious imagery in football, along with the swastika and any hypothetical message of support for former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.

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