Gartside heads FA committee

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The Premier League will have a key input in choosing the next chairman of the Football Association after Bolton chairman Phil Gartside was made the head of the panel given the task of finding Lord Triesman's successor.

Triesman fell out with the Premier League a year ago when he criticised top-flight clubs' debts in a highly public speech to a football conference.

Gartside's appointment as chairman of the nominations committee should ensure that the next permanent FA chairman is more sympathetic to the league. Gartside is a friend and ally of Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards, and is one of the longest-serving representatives on the FA board.

The Wanderers chief was given the post following an extraordinary general meeting today at Wembley after acting FA chairman Roger Burden stood down from the nominations committee in order to consider standing for the permanent role.

This was something of a surprise move by the former chief executive of the Cheltenham & Gloucester building society given he has been so low-profile since Triesman's resignation in May.

The EGM also approved a rule change which removes the requirement that the next chairman needs to have been free of ties to a club, county FA or league for the previous 12 months.

Now, whoever takes over need only resign any current position with a club or association. It opens the way for anyone to now stand - for example Liverpool's chairman Martin Broughton would be eligible to do so, though he has so far insisted he is not interested.

Other possibilities include former Ipswich and Football League chairman David Sheepshanks, and former Arsenal and FA vice-chairman David Dein, who is currently one of the top figures in England's bid for the 2018 World Cup.

There is thought to be less appetite for another ex-politician to be appointed - Triesman was a Labour peer and was championed by former Tory minister Lord Mawhinney, who was made head of the nominations committee while Football League chairman.

The new nominations committee chaired by Gartside also includes Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous plus John Ward and Michael Game from the county FAs. Their recommendation will go to the FA board in December and then an appointment will be ratified by the FA Council in January.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Ipswich Town
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
Cheltenham Town

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