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Prince William is kept abreast of FA chairman search

Prince William and David Beckham
Prince William played a key role in the 2018 bid along with David Beckham

By David Bond
BBC Sports Editor

Prince William is taking an active interest in the Football Association's search for a new chairman, the BBC has learned.

The future King, who is president of the FA, has asked officials at the governing body to keep him up to date with the process.

He has been told the final shortlist of two or three names being put forward to a board meeting at Wembley on Wednesday.

And he could even meet the preferred candidate to replace Lord Triesman, who resigned in May, ahead of that meeting if a consensus on the new chairman is reached in time.

A spokesman for Clarence House said: "Prince William is president of the FA and is always keen to be kept informed about the FA and its workings. He is looking forward to the appointment of the new chairman."

DAVID BOND'S BLOG

Although as president the Prince is the ultimate figurehead for the organisation, he has no executive role and does not have any power to interfere with the FA's choice of a new leader.

But sources told the BBC he was being "consulted with a small c" and that he had been offering his views on the type of chairman the governing body should appoint.

Prince William was a key member of the England 2018 World Cup bid team in Zurich earlier this month, working alongside David Beckham and Prime Minister David Cameron to try and persuade Fifa voters to back the bid.

That campaign ended in humiliation when England were defeated in the first round having polled only two votes in a contest eventually won by Russia.

David Dein
Dein is among the candidates for the FA role

His views on the future chairman may have, in part, been shaped by feedback from the Fifa executive committee members he met during his three days in Switzerland but Clarence House said his interest in Lord Triesman's successor dates back to the Labour peer's departure.

The former Arsenal and FA vice-chairman David Dein remains the front runner for the post following his return to football earlier this year as the 2018 bid's international president.

A four-man nominations committee, headed by the Bolton chairman Phil Gartside, is planning to propose a name for final approval on Wednesday.

But even now, the BBC understands, there is a split of opinion on the FA board as to whether the decision should be put off until the new year.

Some board members believe the rush to appoint Dein could be a mistake - not because he is the wrong man necessarily - but because they want to look again at serious candidates who withdrew earlier in the process when it appeared the acting chairman Roger Burden was almost certain to land the role full-time.

Burden withdrew his application for the post the day after England's World Cup bid humiliation, saying he could no longer trust Fifa and was not prepared to take a job which required him to work closely with the game's international ruling body.

And now some members of the board believe they should try to persuade big hitters such as the London 2012 deputy chairman Sir Keith Mills or the former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton to reconsider.

There is also some concern at appointing a new chairman with the prospect of a parliamentary select committee on football governance due to look closely at the role of the FA and its inner workings early in 2011.



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see also
Breakaway from Fifa 'impractical' - FA
05 Dec 10 |  Football
Anson floats Fifa reform proposal
04 Dec 10 |  Football
FA chief to quit in Fifa protest
04 Dec 10 |  Football
England 2018 bid 'sunk by media'
03 Dec 10 |  Football
England bid boss fumes at voting
02 Dec 10 |  Football
Russia & Qatar to host World Cups
02 Dec 10 |  Football
England miss out in 2018 Cup vote
02 Dec 10 |  Football
Burden keen on FA chairman role
28 Oct 10 |  Football
Triesman quits FA & 2018 Cup jobs
16 May 10 |  Football


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