The FA held an emergency board meeting this afternoon and moved swiftly to temporarily fill the gap left by Watmore's exit by naming Alex Horne as acting chief executive officer (CEO).

It is a role that Horne, currently the chief operating officer, has filled before in the wake of Brian Barwick's departure in 2008.

The search for Watmore's successor now begins but Triesman, the FA's chairman, insists they will not be rushed into making a decision.

Triesman has ruled out an appointment before the World Cup starts in June and it could conceivably come after FIFA have voted on England's bid to host the 2018 tournament in December.

"On Friday I'll sketch out what I think will be the right timetable and submit that to the board," Triesman told Sky Sports News.

"There's no desire to spend a huge amount of time on this, we all want to replace the CEO.

"But I want to make sure that when the board is slightly reconfigured, as it is each summer, that it has the chief executive that it wants.

"It would be very discourteous to a board to not have that opportunity.

"If we appointed a new CEO before the World Cup we'd only do it by failing to advertise and failing to find the right candidates.

"Time is very short and there is a real preoccupation on our part with winning the World Cup."

Watmore stepped down from a post he had held for less than a year after growing frustrated that his proposals for change were being blocked.

He opposed the slow-moving committee structure of the FA and failed to come to an agreement with Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards on a number of issues.

The decision to resign was made last Friday and despite attempts by Triesman to induce a change of heart, Watmore's mind was made up on Saturday morning when an e-mail was leaked to a newspaper.

The e-mail concerned a briefing given to the board and other prominent FA personnel on the appointment of new marketing and communications director Julian Eccles.

Watmore was reportedly infuriated by the leak and responded by sending a strongly-worded e-mail to the board, some of whom resented its tone.

The acrimonious end to Watmore's reign has only served to highlight fears that the FA is riddled with internal conflict.

However, Triesman denied reports of a personality clash and claimed there is stability at Wembley, despite the fact the FA will now have a seventh chief executive in little more than 10 years.

"Ian felt he was unable to make the progress that he wanted as quickly as he liked," he said.

"The board has been very clear in its view that there have been no personality clashes. Speaking for myself I've found Ian great to work with.

"I don't think that it's about personality clashes.

"He's probably the best person to express his reasons for leaving but my feeling is that we are an organisation that can make a lot of progress.

"Alex has done the job before, is enormously competent and has a very good management team and exceptional staff around him."

A statement released by the FA read: "Further to reports following Ian Watmore's announcement, the board are clear that the professional game has not blocked proposals for change.

"Additionally, the board does not accept that Ian's departure is down to any one individual or any personality clash with Ian."