Football Association chairman David Bernstein has been unsuccessful in his attempt to stay in the role beyond his 70th birthday next year.
Bernstein took up the position in December 2010, replacing Lord Triesman, and has made some big decisions during his tenure.
John Terry was axed as England captain earlier this year, while a new players' code of conduct was launched last week.
Bernstein and the FA board had been hopeful that he could prolong his stewardship beyond next spring, but were unable to get the FA Council to amend its statutes.
"I respect the decision and I remain committed to fulfilling my responsibilities and to building on what we have achieved over the past two years," he said.
"Next year is a significant one in the FA's history, and I look forward to leading the organisation in the months ahead."
An FA statement read: "The board had asked the chairman to continue beyond next May until summer 2014, and it subsequently put forward the proposal to today's FA council meeting.
"Despite strong support for the chairman's ongoing leadership, in a close vote, the council voted against the amendment on the basis that it would be inappropriate to change known and agreed rules on an individual basis."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report