Sheffield Hotel Owner named Chairman of the FA

Sheffield Hotel Owner named Chairman of the FA

22 March 2013

Greg Dyke, owner of Sheffield company Saxon Hotels Ltd, has today been appointed as Chairman of the Football Association. Saxon Hotels Ltd owns two Sheffield Venues, Best Western Plus Mosborough Hall Hotel in Sheffield's S20 and Whirlowbrook Hall in Sheffield's S11.

Mr Dyke also has strong Yorkshire connections having spent a number of years at University in York. He is now Chancellor of York University and today is on a flight to China to hand out degrees to Chinese students that attended York University. His trip to China sadly means he will miss his beloved Brentford making the trip to Sheffield for this weekend's game against Sheffield United.

Dyke, aged 65, will take over as Chairman from David Bernstein when he leaves the post after two-and-a-half years in July - subject to approval by The FA Council on Thursday 16 May. The appointment will take effect from 13 July.

This follows a recruitment process led by FA Independent Director Roger Devlin (Chairman of the Nominations Committee) with fellow board members Roger Burden and Keith Lamb.

In a high profile broadcasting industry career, Dyke has also worked as Director General of the BBC and MD of London Weekend Television.

Dyke has had a long background in football.  He was a director of Manchester United in the late nineties and was on the Board when the Club won the treble in 1999. Since 2006 he has beennon-executive Chairman of Brentford Football Club, the team he supported as a boy.  He will relinquish this role at the end of the season to take up his new post at The FA.

Greg Dyke said: "Football has always been a big part of my life whether playing 11-a-side on Sunday mornings or six-a-side on Thursday evenings. I was bought up in a household where my father was much more interested in whether or not you had won at football than whether you had passed your exams. In my case that was just as well.

"I still turn out to play six-a-side some Thursday evenings although at my age I seem to spend more time injured than playing.

"I supported my local team Brentford as a kid where my elder brother was a junior, watched York City while at university and followed Manchester United whenever I could.

"I got involved in how the game was run when I was first involved in buying sports rights as Chairman of ITV Sport in the late eighties and later at the BBC. I learnt a lot in the years when I was on the Board of Manchester United and have seen the other side of the professional game at Brentford."

Currently Chairman of both the British Film Institute and Europe's largest theatre group ATG, Dyke will give up both his role at Brentford and as a non-executive director at German broadcaster Pro Sieben in the next few months. He has been Chancellor of the University of York since 2004.

"Obviously as Chairman of The FA it is imperative that I am neutral so that means giving up my current role as Chairman of Brentford which I will miss. However I shall be staying on until the end of the season.

"As I leave I would like to pay tribute to everyone at Brentford, the staff, the players and manager and particularly the fans. I hope their loyalty is rewarded with promotion, it deserves to be.

"I am very excited to take on this role with The FA. At the grass roots seven million people play football every weekend, women's football is booming and the ambition is for it to be the second biggest team participation sport in England behind only the men's game, we have the best known, most successful league in the world with the Premier League and the Football League is so much stronger than it was eight years or nine ago.

"Having said that I am a big supporter of financial fair play which, in both the Premier League and the Football League, will have a big impact and hopefully bring a degree of financial sanity to the professional game.

"I do see one of the most important tasks for The FA is, over time, to make thoughtful changes which will benefit the England team. The FA have made a great start by rebuilding Wembley and developing great facilities at St. George's Park but it is essential that The FA finds a way to ensure that more talented young English footballers are given their chance in the professional game at the highest level."

Following today's FA Board meeting at Wembley, Chairman of the Nominations Committee Roger Devlin said: "We have every confidence we have got the right appointment in Greg Dyke.

"He has an outstanding understanding of football, strong relationships across the industry and Government, while retaining a great empathy for the game.

"I am confident that Greg will be a successful Chairman, who will lead The FA from the front and be respected by the football community.

"We have an excellent staff at The FA and I know that Greg is looking forward to working with them."

For more information or photos contact:

Helen Fairey - Sales Manager at Saxon Hotels

07860 598 562