Reed to step down as FA Technical Director
Written by Simon Austin — October 6, 2020
LES REED is to leave his role as Technical Director of the Football Association at the end of the year and will be replaced by his assistant John McDermott.
In a statement, the FA said: “With the delay to international football meaning five senior tournaments will take place over the next four years and having completed a restructure of the technical division, Reed wanted to ensure a stable leadership team could be in place to drive The FA through this condensed period.”
McDermott was appointed as Assistant Technical Director in May, after 15 years at Tottenham, latterly as their Head of Academy Coaching and Player Development.
He will take up his new job in January 2021 and “lead the search for a new assistant technical director.”
Reed replaced Dan Ashworth as Technical Director in December 2018, having been sacked by Southampton (where he was Vice Chairman) a month earlier. His tenure at the governing body has been very low profile, as he did not do a media interview during his time in post.
Staff also complained privately that he had failed to communicate his strategy to them. In recent months, Reed has had to restructure the FA's technical division, with the organisation facing losses of £300m as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The specialist coaching system and futsal have been early - and controversial - casualties.
The FA said the 67-year-old would “continue to be involved in external working groups, as vice chair of the Uefa Technical Development Committee and serve as a director of the Professional Game Academy Audit Board.”
Reed said: “I would like to thank everyone in the technical division for their dedication and diligence through a challenging period for us all.
“I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to return to The FA and had hoped that by now we would have returned victorious from the 2020 Uefa Euro and the Olympics.
“Instead my work has been focused on making sure we are in the best possible shape going forward to compete at all levels. With the impact to the international calendar due to the pandemic, and the men’s and women’s Euros being pushed back, I felt it was the right time for someone else to take on the challenge to ensure consistency of leadership through this busy tournament period to the 2024 Euro in Germany - and John was always the right person to lead this.
“I am confident we have put in place the right framework to give us every chance of winning a major tournament in the next four years.”
FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham said: “Les has led the technical division, the largest team we have, through an extremely difficult period for all caused by the global pandemic.
What does the Technical Director do?
- Responsible for elite England men’s sides from development through to the seniors
- Oversees work of FA Education, with objective of growing the number of qualified coaches
- Oversees work of the national football centre, including sports science and medicine
- Works closely with Director of Women’s Football, Baroness Sue Campbell
“He and his team have taken tough decisions to react positively to these challenges. He has restructured and redistributed resources in a way that protects our development pathways, focusing activity to give us the best possible competitive advantage.
“Les offers high-level counsel on almost any issue and will be missed but has put in place a strong successor in John McDermott. I am delighted John has agreed to step up and have complete confidence in him to continue to take the technical team forward while helping our England teams to achieve success.”