New FA chief says English manager 'preferable'

The chairman-elect of England's governing Football Association (FA) has said there is a "national desire" for the next England manager to be an Englishman.

football Updated: Dec 23, 2010 08:47 IST

The chairman-elect of England's governing Football Association (FA) has said there is a "national desire" for the next England manager to be an Englishman.

David Bernstein, nominated for the post by the FA board on Wednesday, will, if confirmed by the FA council next month, be responsible for overseeing the appointment process of Fabio Capello's successor should the current England manager stick to his stated plan of stepping down after Euro 2012.

Wembley Stadium chairman Bernstein, previously chairman of Manchester City, told BBC Sport: "I would prefer to see the best manager possible managing the England team."

"If he was English that would be preferable for obvious reasons and I think there is a national desire for that," the 67-year-old accountant, who sits on the board of fashion companies French Connection and Ted Baker, added.

"I want to see a winning England team in due course - my job will be a lot easier if the England team is winning matches so anything that works toward that I am all in favour of."

Tottenham Hotspur's English manager Harry Redknapp is the favourite with several British bookmakers to replace Capello.

The FA stuck with the Italian, who has been spoken of as a possible replacement for under-pressure Inter Milan boss Rafael Benitez, despite England's poor display at this year's World Cup in South Africa where they crashed out in the second round.

Bernstein is set to succeed acting FA chairman Roger Burden, who announced he would step down following England's failed 2018 World Cup bid because he "could not trust FIFA".

Sebastian Coe, who led London's successful bid to stage the 2012 Olympic Games, insisted it was vital Bernstein improved the FA's relations with football's global governing body.

"I think it's very important when the (English) game takes stock, it identifies those people that they can get into senior and key positions in FIFA and in the international game," Coe, an advisor to the England 2018 team, said.

"The advantage we (London) had when we were bidding for the Games is that actually a number of us were insiders," the double Olympic champion added.

Bernstein was coy about England's relations with FIFA, saying: "I'd rather duck that at this stage. I assure you I won't duck it in the longer term."

David Triesman, a former British government minister, resigned as FA chairman in May after a newspaper reported he had told a former aide Spain could drop its attempt to host the 2018 World Cup if rival bidder Russia helped bribe referees at this year's edition.

A subsequent FIFA probe "found no indication there is any basis to the allegations".

Spain won World Cup 2010, with Russia winning the right to stage the 2018 tournament.

First Published: Dec 23, 2010 08:39 IST