FA: Age not a barrier for England job

Football Association chairman David Bernstein believes veteran status is no barrier to managing the England team and claims seniority could be a major advantage.

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At the end of a tumultuous week, Harry Redknapp remains the overwhelming favourite to replace Fabio Capello.

However, with the FA talking about Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup in Russia, at 64, Redknapp hardly seems to fit the long-term vision they seem to want.

But Bernstein, himself 68, is not sure that assessment is accurate.

As he began the process of looking for Capello's successor, it seems age, and the accompanying experience, might work in favour of candidates.

"I am 68 so age will not be a barrier," Bernstein said.

"It is the energy that is important. You can have someone who is pretty old at 40 and someone who is not at 60-odd.

"There might be huge pressures but it is a different dynamic from being a club manager. There aren't 38 matches and 10 cup matches.

"In a way, you could say this is more suited to an older person than club management where the demands are absolutely incessant."

The four-man Club England board charged with naming the next England manager are faced with the tricky position of knowing if they unveil anyone but Redknapp, they would be accused of having failed.

Yet Bernstein remains determined to go through the correct process, which is why Stuart Pearce will be in charge for the friendly with Holland at Wembley on February 29.

"I am not concerned," Bernstein said. "We are where we are. We live in the real world.

"I can understand the hype around Harry. The guy has done amazingly.

"He is a fine manager and he is English. This job will be so attractive to many people, we will get interest from serious parties in spite of this hype."

Bernstein does not intend to restrict himself in any sense, even though he accepts "the national mood would prefer an English manager, that is obvious".

However, he is determined an appointment will be made well in advance of the pre-tournament friendlies against Norway and Belgium at the end of the season.

And, after splashing out £50million on wages for Sven-Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello, the FA will not be seen to make a home-grown candidate a cheap option.

"It could cost us a lot of money," he said.

"That is one of the considerations. But we won't be penny-pinching on this.

"Whatever our views on past salaries, we will pay what we need to pay."

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