This afternoon a debate led by Damian Collins MP was held in the House of Commons proposing the reform of the Football Association (F.A.) through legislation.
Today Supporters Direct issued a plea that reform must result in the F.A. re-establishing itself as the independent regulator of football.
Failure to take up this role, which is common for a national F.A. in other countries, will result in the continuation of clubs in crisis that we see up and down the country each week. Too many powers are delegated and league sanctions patching up problems at clubs like Bolton Wanderers, Morecambe and Leeds United aren’t enough when the damage has been done.
Ashley Brown, CEO of SD said, “The commitment from the Chairman of the F.A. is clearly well intentioned however we have seen several of his predecessors fail and so wholeheartedly support legislation which should create an empowered FA truly representative of the modern game.”
The F.A. has been placed under increasing pressure to reform its governance structure with the Sports Minister Tracey Crouch MP setting a deadline of April 2017 for the organisation to comply with the new code of standards for sports governing bodies.
Of course alongside a powerful independent regulatory role must be an updated and representative governance structure with football playing such an important part in so many people’s lives whether participating, volunteering or supporting, from the grassroots to the professional clubs.
Any debate on these issues should not distract from the performance of the FA executive whose team continue to deliver a fantastic performance benefiting communities up and down the country.
SD remains committed to work with both the Government and the FA on issues of football governance, to ensure meaningful reform. Changes at the F.A. are just one issue regarding proper representation in football, and we will continue to work towards more meaningful supporter involvement at both club level and the national game. Football requires critical friends and SD are well placed to fulfill that role.