New Football Association chairman Greg Clarke will see two Ryman League sides in action when he attends his first game as the head of English football.
The chief executive of the Football League until the end of last season, Clarke succeeded outgoing chairman Greg Dyke on Wednesday after being nominated this summer. Having been approved by The FA Board on 22 July, his nomination was formally ratified by a full meeting of The FA Council at Wembley Stadium.
The appointment also signaled the end of David Gill’s spell as acting chairman, with the FIFA vice-president reverting to his vice-chairman duties.
Clarke, who was also a former Leicester City chairman and CEO of multi-national Cable & Wireless, officially takes over at English football’s governing body on Friday 2 September.
After starting the day at the national stadium, the FA say he will then head for Reigate in Surrey to take in The Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round match between Ryman South sides South Park and Dorking Wanderers later that evening.
In a busy introduction to life running English football, the new chairman will accompany FA chief executive Martin Glenn to Slovakia with the England team the following day ahead of their opening 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Trnava.
In a statement released by the FA announcing his succession, Clarke said: “I’m delighted to be confirmed at the next chairman of The FA and I’m relishing the challenge. My experience as a Council member for The FA has given me an insight into the excellent work this organisation undertakes at every level of the game.
“It’s an honour for me to be joining at such a pivotal point in its recent history and I’d like to thank the FA Board and Council for their continued support.”
The father-of-four from Leicestershire is also eager to see Sam Allardyce’s men in action and England’s senior women compete for a place at next summer’s UEFA Euro Finals a few days later.
He added: “The FA has the ability to have the most positive effect on football in this country – from the grassroots game all the way through to the men’s and women’s senior England teams. I’m looking forward to continuing that good work and playing my part in representing an FA that we can all be proud of.”
Clarke’s busy first month continues with a trip to Athens on 14 September for the UEFA Congress when European football’s leaders are meeting in the Greek capital to appoint a new UEFA president.