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Bernstein eyes international ties

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David Bernstein has pledged to nurture relationships with the game's global decision-makers after being approved as the Football Association's new independent chairman.

The appointment of the former Manchester City chairman was unanimously endorsed by the FA council following his nomination by the board last month. Bernstein, chairman of Wembley and director of a number of large clothing retailers, succeeds Lord Triesman, who was forced to step down in May.

"I want to build stronger and more effective relationships with the various international football bodies," said Bernstein, addressing one of the factors cited for England's failure to land the 2018 World Cup. "There are many lessons to be learned from the events of last year."

A committee of MPs is carrying out an inquiry into football governance and the Government are keeping a close eye on the situation to ensure the FA is 'fit for purpose'.

"Outside the football family we must increase the effectiveness of our relationships whether it be with other sporting bodies, the government and broader stakeholders," added the 67-year-old. "Clearly recent developments and the forthcoming Select Committee hearings make this even more relevant."

A chartered accountant, Bernstein was Manchester City chairman for five years - a period that included their acquisition of the lease for the new stadium at Eastlands.

Selecting Fabio Capello's successor as England coach - the Italian has stated he will move on after the Euro 2012 finals in 18 months' time - heads his list of tasks in his new role.

Other major duties will be to drive forward work on the national football centre at Burton - now named St George's Park - and implement a review of international player development carried out by FA general secretary Alex Horne and Sir Trevor Brooking.

"The inspirational national football centre will provide the much needed focal point for our renewed emphasis on coaching," said Bernstein. "I wholeheartedly support the proposals which have been put forward in the youth development review conducted by Alex Horne and Sir Trevor Brooking.

"At the heart of everything I will be seeking to achieve there is an awareness that the England team is the pinnacle of football in this country. Any pinnacle needs the foundations to be solid and all aspects of The FA need to be in good working order. We cannot be selective on this journey towards excellence."

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