Who is Debbie Hewitt? Football Association ponder appointing first chairwoman

It is understood Hewitt is being considered for the role of succeeding Greg Clarke

Jamie Gardner
Tuesday 09 March 2021 16:33
A general view of The FA logo
A general view of The FA logo

The Football Association could be about to appoint its first chairwoman.

It is understood Debbie Hewitt is being considered for the role of succeeding Greg Clarke, who stood down last November after making a series of offensive remarks during an appearance before MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee.

At the time of Clarke’s departure, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said he hoped the FA would have appointed a successor by the end of this month but the process still has some way to go before it is concluded.

"We're happy with how we're going. I won't be able to say too much about that process,” he said last week.

"We've always said that we would be looking to make an announcement in the next month or two."

Who is Debbie Hewitt?

Hewitt is a businesswoman and is currently Visa Europe's non-executive chair.

She was awarded an MBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List for services to business and the public sector.

If successful she will become the first chairwoman in the organisation's 158-year history.

Who is making the decision?

The seven-person panel which was charged with finding Clarke's successor is led by FA non-executive director Kate Tinsley and also includes Derby coach Liam Rosenior.

Who else is in contention?

The chair of the FA's inclusion advisory board Paul Elliott was linked with the post, although Bullingham said in November it could be a "tough ask" to find someone from a playing background with the necessary skill set.

Sport England board member Chris Grant confirmed in January he had applied for the position.

What comes next?

Whoever takes on the role will have a key part to play in any bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

The government has provided funding towards the feasibility study into a UK and Ireland bid for the event.

The formal bidding process opens next year, with the hosting rights due to be awarded in 2024.

The new chair will not take on Clarke's place as Fifa's British vice-president, however.

Irish Football Association president David Martin, Football Association of Wales president Kieran O'Connor and Scottish Football Association vice-president Michael Mulraney are contesting that role.


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