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Page last updated at 18:18 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 19:18 UK

Wigan chief backs David Gill and Rick Parry for FA role

By Saj Chowdhury

Rick Parry and David Gill
Parry and Gill have vast experience running football clubs

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has called for the Football Association to appoint either Rick Parry or David Gill as Lord Triesman's successor as its chairman.

Gill is Manchester United's chief executive while Parry held the same position at Liverpool.

"Gill and Parry both know how to run a big club. I like Parry in particular, he's a proper football man," Whelan told BBC Sport.

Ex-Tottenham chairman Lord Sugar has already thrown his hat into the ring.

Gill, who arrived at Old Trafford as financial director in 1997, is a highly respected figure within the game and has been chief executive of the Red Devils since Peter Kenyon left for Chelsea in 2003.

Despite his criticism of the Glazers prior to their takeover of United in 2005, Gill was retained as one of the club's key figures and the Red Knights, who have been linked with making a bid for the deposed Premier League champions, have indicated they would wish to keep the 52-year-old on.

Parry, who was Premier League chief executive between 1992 and 1998, left Liverpool in 2009 after 11 years at Anfield.


He is currently heading a new sporting betting integrity panel which was organised by the previous UK government.

"The FA should have someone steeped in football tradition and he should be streetwise," added Whelan.

But neither Gill nor Parry may be handed the opportunity after The Apprentice TV star Sugar said he would like to take the role that was vacated by Triesman at the weekend.

FA board members David Sheepshanks and Roger Burden have been drafted in as temporary joint-replacements for Triesman, who also resigned as chairman of England's 2018 World Cup bid.

Former Football Association chairman Geoff Thompson has been appointed as Triesman's successor for the 2018 bid.

Triesman was caught up in a newspaper sting suggesting Spain could drop its bid if rival bidder Russia helped bribe referees at this summer's World Cup.

His resignation came two months after Ian Watmore quit as FA chief executive following disagreements with senior figures on the board.

Sugar, who was Tottenham chairman for 10 years, stated that it would be a "great honour" to fill the vacancy.

However, Whelan suggested that the FA needed to be "very, very careful" when deciding who to appoint.

"He's obviously experienced," the Wigan chairman said of Sugar.

The Premier League should run Wembley and the England team

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan

"The FA has tried ex-politicians and Lords in the past. The role of chairman of the FA is very difficult."

"There are a lot of things to do there and the organisation is in a lot of debt," he said.

The debt the Wigan chief referred to was that incurred following the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium, which is reported to be more than £320m.

With this in mind, Whelan reiterated his view that the England national team should be managed by the Premier League.

"England are so important - we want them to be the best team and the best run team," he continued.

"The FA runs football from amateur to professional level, but I think it should concentrate on running the amateur game and let the professionals run the professional game.

"At the moment the FA is having to host concerts and whatever else to pay off the Wembley debt. Wembley should be the home of just football.

"The Premier League is the only organisation that can afford to pay off that debt - even though it will take four to five years. It should run Wembley and the England team.

"I'm sure most chairman in the Premier League and the Football League would all agree that the Premier League should take charge of England."

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see also
Liverpool post loss as debts rise
08 May 10 |  Liverpool
Parry to leave post at Liverpool
27 Feb 09 |  Liverpool
Fifa urges rapid Triesman review
18 May 10 |  Football
Sugar eager for FA chairman post
17 May 10 |  Football
Thompson named 2018 bid chairman
17 May 10 |  Football
FA 'should not run England team'
25 Mar 10 |  Football
Triesman quits FA & 2018 Cup jobs
16 May 10 |  Football
World Cup bids head-to-head
17 Oct 10 |  Football
Beckham hands over 2018 Cup bid
14 May 10 |  Football
Nelson backs 2018 World Cup bid
13 May 10 |  London
England submits back-up 2022 bid
16 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Coe joins 2018 World Cup bid team
18 Feb 09 |  Football
Fifa unveils 2022 World Cup plan
20 Dec 08 |  Internationals

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