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SBD Global/March 22, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Former BBC Director General Greg Dyke Hired As New Football Association Chairman

Greg Dyke, 65, has been named the new Football Association chairman.
Former BBC Dir General Greg Dyke "is to become the next chairman of the Football Association," according to to Ashling O'Connor of the LONDON TIMES. The 65-year-old has been proposed by the FA exec board as "the preferred candidate to take over from David Bernstein as independent chairman." His appointment, subject to ratification by the FA council, "will be seen as striking a balance between the competitive tensions within football between the grassroots and profressional games." Dyke has club experience "at both the top and lower divisions." He will have to stand down as Brentford FC chairman at season's end, but has "a down-to-earth demeanour that will appeal at the community level." Dyke said, "Football has always been a big part of my life, whether playing 11-a-side on Sunday mornings or six-a-side on Thursday evenings. I was brought up in a household where my father was much more interested in whether or not you had won at football than whether you had passed your exams. In my case that was just as well" (LONDON TIMES, 3/21).

CALL TO DUTY: In London, Roger Blitz reported the role of FA chairman involves "meeting the demands of government for the FA to reform its antiquated ways, and control the spiralling costs in the game." Such issues brought Bernstein and his predecessor, David Triesman, "into conflict with ministers and others in the football hierarchy" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/21). Dyke added: "Obviously as chairman of the FA it is imperative that I am neutral so that means giving up my current role as chairman of Brentford, which I will miss. However I shall be staying on until the end of the season. Bernstein said, "I would like to congratulate Greg Dyke on his nomination to succeed me in July as FA chairman. I wish him every success in this stimulating but demanding role" (London INDEPENDENT, 3/21).

CLEAR VISION: BLOOMBERG's Alex Duff reported Dyke said it is "essential" the FA finds a way to ensure English players get a chance to play professional football at an elite level. Teams in Europe’s five richest leagues, including the Premier League, "developed as few as 17 percent of their players from their youth teams last year," according to the CIES Football Observatory in Neuchatel, Switzerland (BLOOMBERG, 3/21). In London, James Olley reported Dyke "has a track record as a likeable and approachable leader" in a career that has included key roles at the BBC, Channel 4, London Weekend Television and Channel 5. However, what the FA needs is "someone with a clear vision of how to govern English football and rise above the vested interests which so often dilute its effectiveness" (EVENING STANDARD, 3/21).
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