Doncaster takes on enforcer’s role

PUBLISHED: 11:01 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Norwich City will have new influence at English football's top table after chief executive Neil Doncaster was elected on to the FA board. The Canaries' top man replaces Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney on the board of 12 which, among other things, has the power to hire and fire England managers.

Norwich City will have new influence at English football's top table after chief executive Neil Doncaster was elected on to the FA board.

The Canaries' top man replaces Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney on the board of 12 which, among other things, has the power to hire and fire England managers.

It also means East Anglia has its own unique axis of power at Soho Square. There are only two Football League representatives on the FA board - and the other is David Sheepshanks, former Ipswich chairman, now working in an unpaid non-executive role at Portman Road.

Doncaster's election follows Mawhinney's decision to stand down from FA duties to concentrate on League business.

Said Doncaster: “I feel honoured and delighted to be representing the Football League on the FA board.

“My election reflects the esteem in which Norwich City Football Club is held by the wider footballing community.

“This non-executive role will not detract from my duties at Carrow Road but will enable the club to influence football policy in the country at the highest level.”

The FA board meets 12 times a year and comprises FA chairman Lord Triesman, chief executive Brian Barwick, three Premier League representatives - including Manchester United chief executive David Gill - two Football League representatives and five members from the grass roots of the game, drawn from county football associations.

Mawhinney's resignation, announced at an FA Council meeting, came as something of a shock. The 67-year-old former Conservative Party chairman says he wants to concentrate on his Football League chairmanship.

He has been outspoken on major issues affecting the game, including the financial hardships facing teams outside the Premier League, and the role of agents. He is drawing up new plans to help protect clubs from the perils of administration. He also played a major role in the appointment of FA chairman Lord Triesman.

Doncaster, 37, joined City in November 1997 as company secretary and solicitor. He took up his current role as chief executive in 2001 and joined the board of directors in 2006. The same year, he was voted on to the Football League board for a three-year term.

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