The FA’s search for a new chairman to replace Greg Clarke has suffered a setback with the chair of selection panel resigning just 10 days after being appointed following another row involving race.
Sportsmail has learned that Stacey Cartwright, the former Harvey Nichols chief executive who has been on the main FA Board for two years, has tendered her resignation in protest at moves to restore so-called ‘fellowship rights’ to former FA Council member Brian Jones, who was forced to resign from the Council last year after posting an Islamophobic message on social media.
Cartwright’s decision to walk away from the six-person selection panel charged with finding a new chairman is a blow to the FA, although they have already begun the process of recruiting a replacement.
The FA are looking for a new chairman following the departure of Greg Clarke from the role
The involvement of the governing body in another racism storm will also be the source of considerable embarrassment less than three weeks after Clarke’s sudden resignation.
The 62-year-old was told to step down by his fellow Board members on 11 November after he made a series of offensive remarks at a Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing, where he referred to ‘coloured footballers.’
Cartwright is understood to have been among the most vociferous members of the FA Board in insisting that Clarke should resign, and has now opted to sever her own links with the organisation in disgust at moves to rehabilitate the disgraced Jones.
Whilst not being readmitted to the FA Council, the group of mainly grassroots representatives who have oversight of the FA Board, the National Game Board last week voted to give Jones fellowship rights which restore his ticketing and hospitality privileges.
The FA insisted that Cartwright’s resignation was largely due to time commitments of her other business ventures, and that Jones’ return to the fold had yet to be finalised.
Former Harvey Nichols chief Stacey Cartwright resigned in protest following a new race row
Jones had resigned from the FA Council in January 2019 three days after sharing an offensive Facebook post with the caption, ‘Pork fact 16: people who eat pork are less likely to blow themselves up.’
The long-standing chairman of Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA was also found guilty of ‘aggravated improper conduct’ by the an FA independent commission the following month, with the three-person panel criticising him for demonstrating ‘very little awareness as to why people might be upset’ and seeking ‘to shift the blame onto others.’
Ironically Jones was part of the FA commission which found Luis Suarez guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011.
Cartwright had been touted as a potential successor to Clarke, but opted instead for the key role of chairing the selection panel, which also featured interim FA Chair Peter McCormick, Board members Rupinder Bains, Jack Pearce and Kate Tinsley, as well as Derby County coach Liam Rosenior.