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 Thursday, 19 December, 2002, 09:04 GMT
Mawhinney handed top post
Sir Brian Mawhinney
Mawhinney takes over the League at troubled times
Sir Brian Mawhinney has been named as the new chairman of the Football League.

The 62-year-old Conservative MP for Cambridgeshire North West takes over from Keith Harris, who quit along with League chief executive David Burns in August.

Mawhinney, who will start work in January, is a Peterborough United fan.

Mawhinney timeline
1968-1970 Assistant professor of radiation research - Iowa University
1970-1984 Lecturer - Royal Free Hospital
1979 First elected
1979-1997 MP for Peterborough
1997-Present MP for North West Cambridgeshire

He is the former Northern Ireland Sports Minister and also served as the Conservative party chairman and Secretary of State for transport in his 23 years as an MP.

"This is an important job, which needless to say, I will take seriously, but football is also fun and I intend to enjoy that aspect too," said Mawhinney.

"Everybody knows that this is a crucial time for football, with discussions about the financial pressures on clubs.

"I am coming in at a time when important issues, such as restructuring and transfer windows, are being addressed and need to be resolved.

We were impressed by his leadership qualities, his contacts in the corridors of power and his lifelong interest in football

Acting chairman
Peter Heard

"On the other hand I come to the role aware that the League is enjoying huge support with attendances on the up and up, and I want to play my part in building an even better future for the 72 clubs."

He added: "I look forward both to doing the job and getting to know the clubs, their chairmen and directors, representatives of supporters' organisations and the media, as well as establishing a strong rapport with the FA and the Premier League."

Harris and Burns stepped down after a court ruled that Carlton and Granada were not liable for the 178.5m owed to the League by ITV Digital.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Sport's Nigel Adderley
"The League believe he can provide guidance"
 Football League chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney
"I'm used to dealing with tough challenges"

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Football feels pinch
See also:

06 Aug 02 | Football
06 Aug 02 | Football
08 Aug 02 | Funny Old Game
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