Bernstein to become England’s new FA chairman

The Jewish businessman and former chairman of Manchester City's nomination was unanimously approved.

david bernstein 311 (photo credit: AP)
david bernstein 311
(photo credit: AP)
LONDON – Jewish businessman David Bernstein is set to replace David Triesman as chairman of the English Football Association next month after his nomination was unanimously approved by the organization’s board on Wednesday.
The appointment of the 67-year-old Bernstein, who was chairman of Manchester City for five years and has sat on the boards of major companies including French Connection and Ted Baker, is scheduled to be endorsed by the FA council on January 25.
“It is a tremendous challenge but I look forward to working with the board, the staff at the FA and everyone in football from local playing fields to Wembley and the international stage,” Bernstein said.
Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, also a Jew, had been considered by sections of the British media to be the favorite to succeed Triesman.
But the FA board chose another man with a strong background in business, unlike Triesman, who was an ex-government minister.
Triesman resigned from the position in May after being recorded in a newspaper sting making allegations that Spain and Russia were colluding to bribe referees at the 2010 World Cup.
Roger Burden was hired as acting chairman and was expected to apply for the role on a permanent basis before he withdrew his candidacy this month. He said he couldn’t trust FIFA following its decision to award Russia the 2018 World Cup ahead of England.
Burden said the FA board was confident Bernstein will be “an excellent choice as chairman.”
“I have worked with David for some years and have always been impressed by his professionalism and integrity,” Burden said. “We look forward to working with David to take the FA forward in the best interests of football at all levels across the country.”
During his nine years on City’s board, Bernstein led the negotiations which secured the lease for a new stadium for the club at Eastlands. He has been chairman of Wembley stadium since 2008.
Bernstein will have a key role in the appointment of the successor to England coach Fabio Capello, who is set to stand down in 2012 when his contract expires.
Other tasks will be to drive through work on the National Football Center in the central English town of Burton and improve relations with world governing body FIFA, which were strained in the run-up to – and in the aftermath of – the voting for the hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup.