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Aug, 21, 2008

Barwick defiant on exit

Brian Barwick said he was 'sad and disappointed to leave' but admitted it was 'time for a new chapter at the Football Association' after it was confirmed on Wednesday he is to step down as FA chief executive. Barwick's departure was revealed amid reports of a fall-out with FA chairman Lord Triesman over his precise role within the organisation. p>

'I only wish it well. It's a terrific place, full of terrific people,' he told Sky Sports. Barwick declared he had no regrets about his time in charge of the FA, despite the delayed opening of Wembley Stadium, the troubled gestation of the National Football Centre and the doomed appointment of Steve McClaren as England manager in 2006, after a very public courting of Luiz Felipe Scolari. Barwick cited the recently launched 'Respect' campaign, aimed at improving behaviour among players and spectators, as a reason for particular pride. 'We've moved the organisation on leaps and bounds, and that's really important to me,' he added. 'If I have a genuine legacy, we were sitting in a big stadium last night - it's probably one of the finest in the world - and the Respect programme is very special to me. 'In this sort of job you have an opportunity to make a difference - and if I, in a very small way, improved behaviour on and off the pitch, that'll do me.' Barwick refused to comment on reports of a breakdown in relations with Triesman, merely saying: 'The reasons for me leaving the organisation, cited in the statement, I'm very comfortable with.'

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