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United chief Gill outlines case for UEFA post

Wed 5th Sep 2012 | UEFA

Manchester United chief executive David Gill has stated he will put his club allegiances to one side as he bids to become England’s representative on UEFA’s Executive Committee.

Gill is aiming to succeed England’s outgoing UEFA vice-president Geoff Thompson on the highly-influential 16-man board which decides on the policies of European football’s governing body. He is standing as the Football Association’s (FA) nominee at the UEFA Congress in May, where all 53 member nations will have a vote.

Gill is believed to face a challenge to win the favour of UEFA representatives owing to his strong club background and current status as an executive board member of the European Clubs’ Association (ECA). He would stand down from that organisation if he is elected to UEFA.

Gill told the Press Association: “I fully understand that I will be representing the FA, I have been on the FA board for a number of years so I believe given my experience of club football and the way the FA operates I can play a key part in ensuring England is heard at the top table in UEFA. I fully understand the role and responsibility and who you are representing.”

The ECA has traditionally held an uneasy relationship with football’s governing bodies, but March’s agreement of a new Memorandum of Understanding with UEFA was hailed as a major breakthrough for the organisation. Gill confirmed his intention to leave the ECA in May – if he proves successful in his UEFA bid – adding that relations between the two organisations were now much stronger. He said: “I think you have seen a real sea change in UEFA over the last few years under Michel Platini’s presidency and the change in the relationship between clubs and UEFA as evidenced by what they have done on insurance and pay for players on (international duty) so we are all moving in the same direction. I have to make the case and explain why I think I could be a valuable member of that body.”

Posted by: Kev Howland

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