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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Position to be filled in July

14 May 2013

MD to take up FA post

Managing Director John Nixon is set to take a position on the board of the English Football Association later this year following a successful nomination from his fellow members on the Football League board. 

"I've agreed to take one of the positions available to the member clubs of the Football League on the board of the Football Association," he said. 

"The other one, as I understand it at the moment, is taken by Keith Lamb [non-executive director at Middlesbrough]. He is in a position where he will need to be re-elected this summer and we all hope that does happen." 

"The positions are elected and the nominations have to come from the Football League," he explained. "There has always been a representative from either League One or League Two and the situation has been complicated a little bit this year by a relegation and a promotion. Tony Kleanthous [Barnet chairman] was involved for League Two, but they have been relegated, and Jeff Mostyn [Bournemouth vice-chairman] was our representative from League One. Obviously they have gone up into the Championship." 

"I was delighted to be asked because I think there's a lot of work to be done on a full range of issues," he told us. 

"The Government are looking to the FA to pull together comprehensive governance for the future of the game. There is definitely a lot for us to get our teeth into. "The FA, the Premier League and the Football League need to get together to try and restructure and set the boundaries of football as we head into an interesting period. The FA have just appointed a new Chairman, Greg Dyke, who has been at our level with Brentford. That means he knows the lower leagues and I think that will enable us to be heard even more, as he understands what the issues are away from the top two divisions." 

But with commitments to the club, the Football League and the Football League Trust to honour, we wondered where the FA Duties would fit into the mix. 

"I've asked for my inclusion on the board to be delayed until July," he said. "I have various other commitments and it feels right to start with the FA at the beginning of the new season. I'm not entirely sure what the position entails, if I'm being completely honest, so I'll speak to Tony [Kleanthous] and find out as much as I can. 

"I think these duties will dovetail my Football League responsibilities quite well. Areas I know we will be looking at are the rules and regulations for the game from top to bottom, at all levels. I feel it's very important for clubs in the Football league to have an input into that side of things, especially when it comes to changes to be made going forward. The Premier League has such a big brand that they're always going to attract people, so we have to look at how we can do that further down the ladder." 

"You just have to look at the coverage the game gets to see what the issues of the day are," he continued. 

"We have ongoing situations with the need to tackle racism, homophobia and other sensitive subjects. Then we have things like solidarity and parachute payments, and even goal-line technology. 

"I am genuinely looking forward to it. What I will need to be aware of is something we touched on earlier. I'm spending a lot of time on the train going to London and Preston for the various meetings we already have and that has started to cut into the time I am able to spend here at the club. I do need to be careful now that I've agreed to add the FA board to the list. 

"However, we see this as an opportunity to develop people in the roles we have at Brunton Park. I don't think that's a bad thing because there will have to be a point where I become less hands on here anyway." 

"The post lasts for as long as I'm a representative on the Football League board," he said. "I have another year of that left to go and I would be more than happy to continue beyond that point. Hopefully we will find that it to be a positive move for everybody and, like I say, I'm really looking forward to it."

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