Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has confirmed he will not seek re-election when his current terms ends in the summer.
Dyke had initially said he would stand for a further year in office but opposition to proposed reforms from some FA councillors and a minority of board members has made him change his mind.
The 68-year-old said “a more of a conciliatory figure than me” would be needed to pick up the pieces after the fight to get the reforms through the FA Council. He will now leave the governing body in the summer.
Dyke read a prepared statement to the FA board on Thursday saying: “During January, however, as work on options for governance reform crystallised, it became clear to all of us that there wouldn’t be a unanimous position on governance reform in the board.
“What now appears to be the case is that there is a majority position on the board for much needed significant reform. I fully support this but I recognise it is going to be a fight to get through the FA Council.
“I had already decided that if no reform was possible I was going to leave anyway this summer, a position I had shared with a number of colleagues.
“What I now see is that even if we get the reform through [which will be a difficult and divisive process although essential], I am probably not the best person to pick up the pieces following the inevitable discord.”
Dyke, a former BBC director-general, has been FA chairman since July 2013 during which time he became an outspoken critic of FIFA under Sepp Blatter. He has also pursued policies aiming at modernising the FA and increasing the number of English players in the Premier League.
He also made headlines by making a throat-cutting gesture when England were drawn in the same World Cup group as Italy and Uruguay – the gesture proved to be accurate – and saying “we should shoot ourselves” if England do not qualify from their group at Euro 2016. He also set England a target of winning the World Cup by 2022.
Dyke added in his statement: “However, whichever way the vote goes on reform, I think the FA will need more of a conciliatory figure than me to build on what has been achieved.
“So having said all that you’ve probably guessed what I intend to say. I have changed my mind about standing for a final year in the summer but I will devote my time in the coming months to press for acceptance of the board’s much-needed, long overdue reform programme.”
Dyke said he would leave the FA in a “dramatically better financial position” than when he arrived, and that important changes had already been made.
He added: “We have a bold plan to build many more all-weather pitches, we have radically changed the coaching education structure and have massively increased investment behind the England teams.”