FA top job means Sheepshanks would quit

DAVID Sheepshanks will quit as Ipswich Town chairman if he is offered the role of chief executive at the FA.

Derek Davis

DAVID Sheepshanks will quit as Ipswich Town chairman if he is offered the role of chief executive at the FA.

The post, which will be vacated by Brian Barwick at the end of the year, has to be occupied by an independent member of the organisation.

So if Sheepshanks, who has the figurehead role at Ipswich Town, does land the £450,000 a year position, then he would also have to step down from the Football League board.

Sheepshanks has already twice offered to resign as Blues chairman but even though owner Marcus Evans has removed all his responsibilities and he is now unpaid, he was asked to stay on to represent the club on the FA and FL board.

The 56-year-old was inevitably linked with the chief executive job and is known to get on well with FA chairman Lord Triesman who is understood to have had a fractious relationship with Liverpool-supporting Barwick.

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Given the sensitive nature of the position Sheepshanks is keeping his head down for the moment and declined to make any comment about the vacancy.

Among those immediately linked with the role was David Gill the chief executive at Manchester United but he has denied being interested in leaving Old Trafford, and a drop in salary.

Former Wembley boss Alex Horne is the early favourite to take over, although Sheepshanks has solid support in the corridors of footballing power.

Barwick will leave the post after four years and follows the likes of Adam Crozier and Mark Palios out of the door.

His legacy will include the introduction of the 'Respect' campaign, helping to finally deliver Wembley and reintroducing the likelihood of a national football academy at Burton, a project Sheepshanks supporters.

He will also be remembered for appointing Steve McClaren and more lately Fabio Capello, which judging by England's performance against the Czech Republic on Wednesday, may not be such a great move.

Sheepshanks has extensive contacts in South Africa, which could prove useful if England qualify for the 2010 World Cup and is heavily involved with Lord Triesman in England's 2018 World Cup bid.

One of Sheepshanks' partners in football consultancy business Alexander Ross is David Davies, a former caretaker chief-executive of the FA.