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Mark Palios

Personal information
Date of birth9 November 1952(age 64)
Place of birthLiverpool, England
Playing positionMidfielder

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Mark Palios (born 9 November 1952 in Liverpool) is an English chartered accountant, football administrator and former professional footballer. He studied Psychology at Manchester University.

Palios played in the Football League as a midfielder for Tranmere Rovers and Crewe Alexandra, and in non-league football and in the European Cup-Winners' Cup for Welsh club Bangor City. In total he made over 400 League appearances. Unusually for a footballer, Palios was permitted by his clubs to pursue a career as an accountant, whilst remaining a professional player. He developed a successful career as a chartered accountant with Arthur Young and ultimately became a senior partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, specialising in business turnaround, he became the Football Association's Chief Executive in July 2003. One of his priority tasks was to stabilise The FA's perilous financial situation, by resolving the financing of the Wembley Stadium project. He saved The FA from having to borrow a further $230 million, which would have put the whole organisation into financial jeopardy. Other successes at The FA included the successful overhaul of the disciplinary process, which resulted in speedier hearings and lower costs. Palios was not frightened to take tough decisions including a decision to ban Rio Ferdinand from the England team to play against Turkey in a crucuial European Championship qualifier in 2004, for failing to take a drugs test despite widespread pressure from the remainder of the team, who threatened to go on strike but ultimately backed down.

Palios resigned in August 2004 following media revelations around his brief relationship with a Football Association secretary, Faria Alam, who subsequently went on to have an affair with the England manager Sven Goran Eriksson. Although a single man at the time of his relationship and strongly maintaining that he had done nothing wrong, he resigned in order to protect his 5 children from the huge media attention that accompanied the revelations of Alam. Many senior FA members regretted his decision to resign and have described him as being "the best FA CEO in recent years" and having "...the focused approach and financial skills to sort out the blazers and...excellent interpersonal skills". He then returned to work as a consultant in the business-turnaround sphere and until January 2009 was a non-executive director of AdEPT Telecom.

Since 2009, Palios has been appearing regularly on television and radio as a commentator on a wide range of football related issues including football finances, premiership salaries, the England team's performance in the 2010 World Cup and England's failed bid for the 2018 World Cup.

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