Alex Horne, last year’s winner of the Accountancy Age Personality of the Year
Award, has been made chief operating officer of the Football Association
assuming many of the responsibilities of the chief executive who, it has
emerged, will leave his post at the end of the year.
Horne was finance director at the FA before joining Wembley Stadium where he
resolved the crisis over the project’s funding and became managing director.
Commentators today described Horne as the right hand man of Lord Triesman,
the FA chairman who is described as being responsible for the departure of the
current CEO Brian Barwick. Lord Triesman and Barwick have reportedly been at
odds for some time over the future role of the CEO.
Horne’s new role places him in pole position of becoming CEO, should he want
Horne, who qualified with Coopers & Lybrand and was a business recovery
specialist, was responsible for negotiating a new deal with Wembley Stadium
builders Multiplex after a host of difficulties with the contractor had delayed
completion of the new national football venue.
In returning to the FA Horne goes to an organisation which has seen its last
three CEOs depart in controversial circumstances.
Mark Palios, another business recovery expert and an accountant, left after
his affair with secretary Faria Alam was made public, and Adam Crozier, his
predecessor, went amid intense criticism of the escalating costs of the new
stadium. Barwick met with scathing criticism after appointing Steve McClaren to
the England manager’s job.
Commentators say Horne is part of the new power base within the FA alongside
Lord Triesman though it is not yet clear exactly what his role is. One key job
that will need particular attention is the FA’s bid for the 2018 World Cup.
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