Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Sunday, 16 May 2010 11:48 UK

Spurs fan, ex-minister and FA chief

Lord Triesman
Lord Triesman's time at the FA has been dogged by negative publicity

When Lord Triesman was appointed as the Football Association's first independent chairman in January 2008, it was seen as key to the body's modernisation.

Long seen as a stuffy organisation, far removed from the common fan, its structural reforms gave the peer a vote on all matters put before the board - a right never afforded to his predecessors.

A former government minister, he was seen as an experienced head whose appointment was also aimed at freeing the FA from charges of bias.

Born David Maxim Triesman in October 1943, he hails from Tottenham in north London. A lifelong Spurs fan, he is patron of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, which promotes healthy lifestyles, education and community cohesion through sport.

Communist Party

As well as being a supporter, he also played, coached and refereed the game at local level.

Educated at the prestigious Stationers' Company's School, he went on to study at the University of Essex, before gaining an MA in philosophy at King's College, Cambridge.

A student radical, he was a member of the Communist Party for seven years in the 1970s before rejoining Labour and going on to become its general secretary.

He started his career in higher education, before becoming an influential figure in the trade union movement - eventually heading up the AUT lecturers' union.

Lord Triesman and England manager Fabio Capello at a Back the Bid event
The UK's World Cup bid has come under fire from Fifa

Lord Triesman was appointed a government whip in 2004 and later occupied ministerial positions at the Foreign Office and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, where he had responsibility for students.

However, as FA chairman he chose to change his status in the House of Lords to that of a cross-bench peer so that England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup would be "wholly outside any party politics".

Since becoming chairman, he has spoken of the need for better regulation of the English game to prevent club owners taking risks with their finances - angering many top clubs in the process.

Among his chief roles has been to head the World Cup bid. However, his leadership has been questioned amid claims that in-fighting has marred the process and led to the resignation of senior board members.

When FA chief executive Ian Watmore left in March, Lord Triesman said it was "genuinely unfair" to suggest he could have given him more support.


The bid team came under fire for giving gifts of luxury handbags to the wives of all 24 members of Fifa's voting panel.

Last October, the 2018 bid was also criticised by Fifa vice-president Jack Warner and Danny Jordaan, who led South Africa's successful 2010 campaign.

Both suggested the FA needed to give the bid a higher media profile and make more of England's footballing icons, such as David Beckham.

The star was eventually given the role of submitting the bid, which he fulfilled on Friday.

Lord Triesman has complained that the media has not been supportive enough of the bid process.

Now newspaper reports suggesting he was recorded claiming Spain and Russia were colluding to bribe World Cup referees have put Lord Triesman's stewardship of the bid in the headlines for the wrong reasons - leading him to agree to stand down from the bid team.

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