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banner Wednesday, 11 October, 2000, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
England's new line to the throne
Adam Crozier
Adam Crozier is keen to implement a new chain of command
Football Association chief executive Adam Crozier has insisted he will introduce a line of succession to the England manager's throne in order to avoid a repeat of the shambolic scenes currently surrounding Lancaster Gate.

FA technical director Howard Wilkinson, who has stepped into the England hot seat following Kevin Keegan's shock resignation, promised the same move 18 months ago, following Glenn Hoddle's exit.

Crozier was not in command at FA headquarters then and insists he means business this time.

"We need to develop some continuity, as what we can't have is everything changing every 18 months," Crozier said.

Adam Crozier
Crozier pulls on an England shirt for a press match in Finland

"It's not good for the game, we all understand that and we have to start building consistency and stability," said Crozier, referring to the establishment of the seven-man FA committee which he will chair.

Crozier's vision is for the next England coach to train his number two as his likely successor, or at least to include one or more potential candidates in his backroom set-up.

It is not exactly revolutionary, as Ron Greenwood implemented the scheme in the 1980s, but the rolling plan has woefully derailed in recent years.

While Stuart Pearce, David Platt and Peter Beardsley, as well as Nigel Spackman and Sammy Lee, have all had some England involvement over recent years, they are hardly yet in a position to take over from Keegan.

Maybe 10 years is asking too much but we're certainly looking to someone who can take us on over the next five years
  Adam Crozier

And although Glenn Hoddle brought through Peter Taylor as Under-21 coach, he was promptly sacked when FA technical director Wilkinson took charge of the side.

Crozier did not wish to be drawn upon that controversial decision, given that he was not in charge of the FA at the time.

However, he added: "I think it would be a very good thing that, just as the French have done, you start to have a system where the right people can learn the ropes."

With him on the selection panel are Arsenal's David Dein, Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale, FA international committee head Noel White, Premier League chief Dave Richards, Wilkinson and FA executive director David Davies.

They will meet regularly, with the first get-together taking place later this week to "look long and hard at what the options are", but it is Crozier who will make the final decision after consulting FA chairman Geoff Thompson.

And he was giving away few clues as to his thinking, although he did reveal "it would be helpful" for any candidate to be fluent in English, while insisting that the FA were not after a "PR appointment".

He added: "We are looking for someone with the right experience of international football in its widest context - proper European or worldwide experience - and someone that can communicate with the players.

"Someone that can work with us to take the England team on in the reasonable future.

"Maybe 10 years is asking too much but we're certainly looking to someone who can take us on over the next five years."

And while that may be an optimistic timeframe, at least a successor should be ready by then.

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