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British Government Go To War With The F.A. – Sports Minister Demands Reform Of Archaic Organisation

September 24, 2009


Well this is a topical subject here on WDKF.

All the talk of grass roots and women’s football has today been blown up in the media by the government attacking the FA, and threatening to withdraw its central funding by the state

Four years ago the government set out a criteria for the FA to implement, in regards to the grass roots of football in the UK and the encouragement and equal opportunity for women’s football. Today, Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe has said that the FA have failed in meeting their criteria, and has threatened to remove the funding the game gets from the tax payer

Gerry-Sutcliffe-MP-has-wr-002Funding is one lever we’ve got,” Sutcliffe said. “It would be a last resort. But there has to be, and there already is, a recognition that the status quo is not good enough. We see ourselves as critical friends. We have a £25m investment through Sport England, we contribute £15m to the Football Foundation, football comes to the Government to ask us to help on European issues around TV rights, around a whole range of issues. [So] I think it’s a fair balance we strike. At the end of the day it’s football and football should be running the game but as a government with that investment I think it’s right we say what we think.”

Sutcliffe also accused the FA of holding back the development of the beautiful game in England

They are, in the sense of they could do better. English football is a success but you want to maintain that success,” he said. “Football [in this country] is a success, nobody is saying it’s dying on its feet. But what we have to do is maintain the progress and the Football Association is the body that can make sure that it’s representative and can lead the way. I think it is competent but as recognised in Burns (the Lord Burns structural review in 2005), there’s a long way to go. To change from the old style structure to the new structure we need to have non-executive directors on the board [and] there needs to be progress in the women’s game.”

I think someone in office must be reading our site!

One of Sutcliffe’s main concerns is why our women have to ply their trade and skill abroad rather than have the chance to show their talent in one of the worlds most football hungry environments. he called on the women’s game to build on the success of the national side in reaching the final of the European Championships this month.

We want that momentum to be maintained,” he said. “Four of our best players have to play in America and that’s not a good example.”

The FA have responded gingerly to the Government’s demands saying they will review all areas highlighted by the minister

Id like to give the Government a pat on the back for this one. The FA are a major bug bearer of mine. I hope they take an active role if restructuring comes to pass. As Ive said previously the FA have not done enough to ensure the future success of the national side or youth football, but have still managed to somehow swell their coffers with money making schemes. Where has this cash and investment gone? Now that the Government have publicly criticised them maybe we will find out.

Like this article? Click here for more at ViewFromTier3 –Rob’s blogzine

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2009 11:22 am

    I bet someone in the office has bookmarked us on their tax-payer funded pc! lol

  2. maserati4200 permalink
    September 24, 2009 2:40 pm

    The Football Foundation is the major funder for grass roots football in England. They draw on contributions from a number of other agencies; The FA; Sport England; The National Lottery; etc.

    I am involved in grass roots football – 300 men, women, boys and girls play football at the club of which I’m chairman (a Step 6 non-league club). We have benefited greatly from£1.6m of Football Foundation funding over the past 10 years and we’re greatful for the contributions from The FA which are included in the total amount.

    The money is there – you just need to have a vision and a proper plan for its use. Then apply for funding. It’s a long and detailed process but well worth the effort.

    • September 24, 2009 2:48 pm

      Oh WOW. I was just looking at the Football Foundation website after seeing it on Sky this lunch time..was thinking about writing a piece on them. This is where the money in Football can do good. I bet you really have a Maserati, Mr Chairman :-)

      • maserati4200 permalink
        September 24, 2009 3:08 pm

        Nope – just a forlorn hope!

        I’m just an unpaid volunteer like a lot of people who work at grass roots level. I do it for the love of the game and for the future of the boys and girls who play at our club.

        If you need any help or contacts with respect to the Football Foundation let me know.

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