Aged just 35, to say Adam Crozier was a surprise choice to step into the role of Chief Executive at the FA would be understating the case more than a little. The former Saatchi & Saatchi executive was, however, the new broom, the fresh face, the untarnished non-old school tie appointment that the organisation needed. It was 2000, and going into the new millennium, dusty old corridors were well overdue a spring clean. In two years, Crozier shook up the Football Association in a way it hadn’t experienced throughout a history dating back to 1863 – or, for that matter, since.
The organisation’s headquarters were moved from Lancaster Gate to more modern facilities at Soho Square. The average age of staff was reduced from over 55 to just 32, the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium was progressed and the FA Council, nominally its controlling body, was reduced from 91 members, to a much more manageable 12. Without doubt though, the most revolutionary of Crozier’s achievements was to appoint the first foreign manager to head up England’s national team. In January 2001, Swedish manager Sven-Göran Eriksson was invited by Crozier to step into the hottest of managerial hot seats. The Swede accepted and the Walls of Jericho came a-tumbling down. Continue reading →
The news that Steven Gerrard had ‘retired’ from international football, and therefore vacated the England captaincy, probably came as no surprise to anyone in particular, given England’s lacklustre performance in the World Cup. The doyens of Fleet Street – or wherever they sit banging away at their keyboards these days – have however probably gone into apoplexy at the thought of a few weeks’ debate over who will inherit the ‘armband’ from Stevie G – once the transfer window is closed, of course. I have to ask a question however. Is it only me, or do any other fans agree, that all of this brouhaha over the England captaincy is so much stuff and nonsense about next to nothing? Continue reading →