By James Crook

dykeMarch 21 - Former BBC director general Greg Dyke will become chairman of the English Football Association (FA) in July when current chair David Bernstein vacates the role, it was announced today.

The FA Board unanimously approved the nomination of Dyke to become independent chairman.

Dyke has a strong background in sport, serving as a director at Manchester United in the late 1990s and as ITV Sport chairman in the 1980s.

He has also served as managing director of London Weekend Television, and is currently chairman of Europe's largest theatre group, ATG, and the British Film Institute.

He will step down from his role as chairman at League One club Brentford and another role as non-executive director at German broadcaster Pro Sieben before beginning his new role with the FA on July 13 this year, subject to approval from the FA Council.

Greg Dyke at Brentford FCGreg Dyke will step down from his role at Brentford to become new chairman of the FA

Current FA chairman Bernstein was forced to step down from his role when the Council opted not to change a rule in October last year, stating that he must step down when he reaches the age of 70.

The 65-year-old Dyke served as director general of the BBC between 2000 and 2004, before resigning from the role due to the outcome of the Hutton Inquiry, which had been set-up by the Government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, a biological warfare expert and former UN weapons inspector in Iraq.

Kelly was found dead after he had been named as the source of quotations used by BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan, claiming Tony Blair's Government had knowingly "sexed up" the "September Dossier", a report into Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.

The Hutton report cleared the Government of wrongdoing, while the BBC was strongly criticised, leading to the resignation of Dyke, although there was widespread public sympathy for him.

He is looking forward to his new role.

"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," said Dyke.

gregdykeDyke announced his resignation as BBC director general amid controversial circumstances in 2004 following the outcome of the Hutton Inquiry

"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.

"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."

Speaking of the future, Dyke set his focus on taking advantage of the world-class facilities already on offer at the £800-million ($1.2 billion/€950-million) national stadium, Wembley, which was opened in 2007, and the new national football centre; St George's Park in Staffordshire, to push the England national team forward.

"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." he said

"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."

St Georges ParkSt George's Park and its new state-of-the-art facilities offer a bright future for English football, predicted Greg Dyke

Dyke also paid tribute to his childhood club Brentford, where he has served as non-executive chairman since 2006.

"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.

"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."

Outgoing chairman David Bernstein congratulated Dyke on his appointment, saying: "I would like to congratulate Greg Dyke on his nomination to succeed me in July as FA chairman.

"I wish him every success in this stimulating but demanding role.

"I will ensure that the handover is dealt with efficiently to help in maintaining the stability that has been achieved by The FA since 2010."

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