The ECB is looking to improve its public image by reintroducing the role of president.
The position was originally introduced in 2015 as an apparent attempt to accommodate Giles Clarke, who was in something of a power struggle for the position of chairman with Colin Graves, but is being reimagined in a far more ambassadorial fashion.
The ideal candidate will, an ECB document states, have strong skills in “diplomacy” and “speaking in public” but will not be an official member of the board. Instead they will represent the ECB at selected matches and events but will have “no vote or other say within the decision-making structures of the ECB.”
A document shared with the county boards also states the president “will not be permitted to talk to the media without express permission of the ECB Board” and “must avoid making any public or private comments or conducting himself/herself in a manner which would conflict with the policy of the ECB Board, would otherwise be regarded as controversial or which may bring or does bring the ECB into disrepute.”
The role, described as “of ceremonial nature”, will take pressure off the ECB’s chief executive, Tom Harrison, who does not always look comfortable in the spotlight, and Graves, who has had a gaffe-laden reign as chairman. Nominations for the position have been invited from various “stakeholders” (members of the ECB board can also nominate candidates) and will be assessed by the ECB’s nominations committee who will, in turn, make a recommendation to the board. The candidate will then require the approval of at least 21 of the 41 ECB members.
The term of office is a maximum of three years, though the board “may terminate the appointment at any time” and the incumbent will be expected to “liaise with the Chairman and/or CEO to agree what ambassadorial and ceremonial activity he/she undertakes.” The role is unpaid, though expenses will be reimbursed.
Clarke, who remained a member of the ECB board while president, resigned in November 2017. The role has not been filled since.