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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 August, 2004, 21:15 GMT 22:15 UK
Exit Palios the enforcer
It was just 12 months ago that Mark Palios predicted exciting times ahead as he took up the reigns as the Football Association's new chief executive.

He was not wrong.

After a rollercoaster first year in the job, Palios has quit in the wake of the scandal over England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's affair with Faria Alam, a secretary at the FA.

It is a surprising end for a man who was brought in to clean up football's image.

Born in Liverpool, Palios started his career in the game as a professional footballer.

Between 1973 and 1985, he played more than 400 league and cup games as a hardworking midfielder during spells at Tranmere and Crewe.

PALIOS FACTFILE
Born: 9 Nov 1952
Birthplace: Liverpool
Lives: In Buckinghamshire
Career:
1973-85 Played for Tranmere Rovers & Crewe
1986 Became partner at Arthur Young
1989 Joined PricewaterhouseCoopers
2003 Appointed new FA chief
2004 Resigns a year later
The highlights of that career included becoming Crewe's top scorer in 1982 with 12 goals and captaining Bangor City in their European Cup Winners Cup campaign three year's later.

However, Palios was careful to plan ahead for life after hanging up his boots.

Having graduated from Manchester University with a psychology degree in 1974, he worked his way up through the ranks of the accountancy profession while pursuing his career on the pitch.

On retiring from the game, he became a partner in Arthur Young in 1986 and then moved to PricewaterhouseCoopers three years later as a high-flying accountant.

A business regeneration specialist at the firm from 1997, he was seen as the perfect choice to take over from former FA boss Adam Crozier in 2003.

Although many perceived him as a down-to-earth antidote to the slick ways of Crozier, Palios soon proved he was not just a meek-mannered accountant.

Within months of taking the job, he was thrown into 'Riogate' - telling Eriksson to drop his star centre-half Rio Ferdinand for a crucial England qualifier after missing a drugs test.

Palios' determination to make an example of the Manchester United defender prompted talk of a strike by England's players, but it showed the FA's new hard line stance.

Having weathered the storm, the FA boss was under fire again in November.

England called up Alan Smith and then sent him home hours later after discovering the then Leeds striker had been arrested and bailed by West Yorkshire Police.

Palios remained measured in his reply, admitting players were "angry" at the mix-up and ordering a review to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.

However, the revelation that both he and Eriksson had relationships with Alam, and the FA's handling of the subsequent controversy, has been one situation the 51-year-old has not been able to ride out.




VOTE RESULTS
Do you trust the FA to run English football properly?
Yes - this is just a storm in a teacup
12%
No - they are bungling bosses
60%
Don't care - as long as the England team are successful
28%
64107 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed


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