New England boss to be picked before World Cup
Football Association chiefs want Sven-Goran Eriksson's successor in place before the World Cup - and the new England head coach's contract is set to include clauses that would try to secure his loyalty to the job.
The FA's experience with Eriksson, who talked to several clubs about management possibilities, will affect their contract negotiations, but an appointment is likely to come sooner rather than later.
Brian Barwick, the FA chief executive, believes it could be an advantage for new England head coach to have the experience of watching the team in the finals knowing that he will be in charge for the international friendly in August.
Barwick said: 'What we have is the opportunity to get that person in place hopefully before [the World Cup] and if the upside of that is they can watch the side they inherit in August with a sense of semi-distant ownership then it may well be an advantage.
'Whoever gets the job is getting a remarkable job, he is taking over a fantastic side of really talented players, the most avidly watched side in the world aside from Brazil.
'One of the things I will be underlining is the scale, the magnitude and the absolutely fantastic opportunity that being the England coach is.'
A small group of 'experienced heads' led by Barwick will pick a successor under a plan the chief executive will put to the FA board next week.
He added: 'Next Thursday there is an FA board meeting and the recruitment of the next England coach will be on the agenda.
'I hope to put to the board a procedure for their consideration. In the past what has been a practical way for the FA to do this is to call on some of the experienced heads around the FA, [create] a small group and with the chief executive leading to go for and find the appropriate person.
'The process will not probably be in place for a week or a fortnight and after that we do have some time to make the right call.
'We can afford to be patient and try to make the right judgement call and use the time we have in our favour.'
England striker Michael Owen has admitted it would be 'annoying' if England's World Cup preparations were disrupted by constant speculation about Eriksson's successor, but Barwick was confident that the two issues could be kept apart.
Speaking in Montreux, Switzerland, before today's 2008 European Championship draw, Barwick added: 'It's easy to divorce the two. There is constant speculation because you guys [the press] will return to this subject and I fully expect, realise and respect that this is a good story.
'But I hope it won't - there's no way and reason why it should. The two things are pretty significantly divorced.'
Barwick refused to be drawn on how important experience or nationality would be to the selection panel.
He said: 'I don't want to put together a photofit picture of the person who will be the next England coach because that will box me into a corner.'
Barwick reiterated that he wanted the best person for the job but said he anticipated applications from English coaches.
'I have absolutely no doubt that some English managers will apply.'
Asked if any would be capable of doing the job, Barwick replied: 'Yes, of course.'