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The Football Association has confirmed that chief executive Brian Barwick is to leave his post at the end of 2008.
The initial news leaked just as England's friendly with Czech Republic was about to start at Wembley on Wednesday evening.
And the FA has now confirmed that Barwick, who played a key role in the appointment of former England manager Steve McClaren and current boss Fabio Capello, will step down on 31st December this year.
Barwick was appointed chief executive in November 2004 before officially taking up the role the following January, and he has admitted his disappointment at leaving the position.
"I am sad to be leaving the FA - an organisation it has been a privilege to lead - but I believe it is in the best interests of all parties," said Barwick.
"I have always endeavoured to do my job with passion, decency and integrity, and I believe I am leaving a strong legacy for the future."
And Barwick has pointed to examples of his work, specifically the recent Respect programme and the English National Football Centre, which is due to open in 2010.
"We have achieved a lot over the past three-and-a-half years: opening the new Wembley Stadium, implementing the structural review and increasing our broadcast and commercial contracts to record income levels," added Barwick.
"The organisation is in better financial health than ever before, and I am also delighted to have seen the recent launch of the Respect programme, which is very important to me.
"On the pitch, I'm convinced that in Fabio Capello, the England team has the right manager and a genuine chance of success, while I also believe the plans for the National Football Centre will benefit English football in the long-term.
"I would like to pay tribute to the FA board for their strong support, and especially thank my colleagues at the FA for their tremendous efforts during my tenure."
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