3 The FA |
The role of the FA
25. Our starting point is that the FA is the
most appropriate agency to take the lead in addressing the weaknesses
in English football. Its status as governing body for English
football is unchallenged. The Court judgement referred to in the
previous chapter affirmed that the FA was "the governing
body and rule-making authority of association football in England".
We asked Sir Dave Richards and Richard Scudamore, the Chairman
and Chief Executive of the Premier League respectively, if they
accepted that the FA was the governing body of the English game,
and both replied in the affirmative.
It follows therefore, that where we identify remedies, the FA
is the obvious first port of call to ensure that they are implemented.
Concerns about the FA
26. When we started our inquiry we were aware
of concerns widely expressed that the FA's own internal governance
structure would need to be improved before it was able to intervene
effectively in the wider governance of the game. Sports Minister
Hugh Robertson observed in the House that: "if you look across
sport, it is very clear to me that football is the worst governed
sport in this country, without a shadow of a doubt".
He told us that he would like to see the FA play a more pro-active
role in football governance but that "the slight reluctance
or the slight sense of caution that you would get is that everybody
needs to be convinced that the FA is itself properly governed
and able to carry out that function".
Before identifying remedies, therefore, it is necessary to determine
what reform is required at the FA to allow it to become a leading
part of the solution.
27. Corporate governance best practice indicates
a need for an Executive Board with the appropriate composition
and skill-set to provide leadership for the organisation and to
allow for timely and effective strategic decision-making.
The board should be supported by a streamlined committee structure
and held to account by shareholders and/or a representative or
supervisory body able to scrutinise key Board decisions. The FA
organisational structure differs from that of single board organisations
(the prevalent organisational form for companies in the UK) by
virtue of its dual-board structure comprising the Main Board and
Council. This is, however, similar to the dual-board structure
common in Germany and other European countries comprising an Executive
Board and a Supervisory Board representing key stakeholders.
The Council is also an unusually large body. The basic principles
of good governance for single and dual-board organisations are
similar, but dual-board structures require close cooperation between
the main board and the upper tier (the Council). While the
FA's structure and remit differentiates it from the standard UK
company governance modelthere is a closed group of shareholders,
the shares cannot be bought and sold and the shares have no valuemany
of the basic principles of corporate governance for single- and
two-tier systems still apply, and the FA's current structure falls
some way short of ideal.
28. The FA can be criticised for showing weak
leadership and poor and/or conflicted decision-making, widely
seen to be at least in part a consequence of divisive internal
structures. Examples of this include a failure to provide leadership
on financial governance regulation and a failure to articulate
a clear position on the continued relevance or not of its Rule
34. The saga of Wimbledon's move to Milton Keynes, which the FA
appeared to oppose but allowed to proceed on the majority verdict
of an independent commission established under FA arbitration
rules, provides another example. During our inquiry, we focused
on a further example of weak governance: the decision taken before
the World Cup to amend the contract of England Manager Fabio Capello
without the approval of either the Board of the FA or its remuneration
committee. General Secretary Alex Horne explained the context:
There was a contract through to 2012 for four years.
Within that contract was a clause allowing either party to terminate
for an amount of liquidated damages. [
] There was speculation
about clubs coming in for Fabio, and it was agreed with a few
individuals at the top of the organisation, the last chairman
[Lord Triesman] being at the heart of it, that we would delete
mutually those two clauses. So effectively, we would remove our
ability to terminate Fabio's contract with liquidated damages
and he would delete his ability to walk away from our contract
with liquidated damages.
29. The decision arguably looked better at the
time, when England had performed strongly in its World Cup qualifying
group, than it does with the hindsight of England's World Cup
performance. The governance issue, though, stems from the very
informal manner in which an important strategic decisionto
tie the FA and the incumbent England manager more closely together
after the World Cupwas made. Indeed, there remains a lack
of clarity as to who actually took the decision to amend the contract.
Alex Horne implied that Lord Triesman was the senior figure behind
it, and Sir Dave Richards agreed with this interpretation when
he gave evidence.
However, in correspondence to the Committee Lord Triesman stated
that the decision was taken subsequent to his resignation in May
2010. Alex Horne accepted that it had been a failure of corporate
governance not to seek the endorsement of the FA Board: "It
was a whole board decision, and should have gone to the whole
Board, but it did not".
New FA Chairman David Bernstein confirmed that changes to a contract
of the size of Fabio Capello's should go through the remuneration
committee "and then, if necessary, to the board".
He affirmed that, under his Chairmanship, such decisions would
go through the proper channels.
30. The decision to rebuild Wembley has also
been cited as poor decision-making. David Conn, in particular,
has criticised the extent to which the requirement to service
debts on Wembley stadium is constraining the FA's ability to invest
in the grassroots.
The FA's accounts for the year to 31 December 2009 recorded the
cost of servicing debts on Wembley stadium at £30 million.
Wembley is not scheduled to break even until 2015. David Bernstein
By 2015, we will have paid £150 million of debt
plus interest and by 2015 we are anticipating that Wembley will
become cash-positive and will start pushing cash back into the
] Clearly, in the interim, Wembley has been using
FA finance to balance its books.
He confirmed that the FA had needed to cut the amount
of money going to the Football Foundation in order to service
the Wembley debt.
31. The Commission on the Future of Women's Sport
was frustrated as to how a policy change to remove the ban on
mixed football up to the age of 14, agreed by the FA Board and
the FA Council, could still be blocked by shareholders. In 2010
the FA shareholders managed to overturn the will of the FA Executive
and the FA Council and block the removal of a ban. The Committee
was critical of the FA in this regard in its Report on Women's
Football, and has kept up the pressure on the FA subsequently.
The FA finally made some progress on this issue earlier this year.
32. Fulham Supporters Trust was one of a number
of witnesses to observe that the FA's internal structure "leaves
it powerless to take on the Premier League when the situation
research organisation Substance similarly argued that "the
emergence of Premier League dominance within the governing structures
of the FA has further clouded and undermined the ability of the
FA to govern the game independently".
William Gaillard's European perspective was that "turf wars"
between the FA and the Premier League and Football League had
damaged English football. He felt that "the English FA is
probably in a weaker spot than any other FA in Europe. [
In other countries you have a more balanced situation where the
status of the governing body that the FA holds is better protected".
33. The FA can also be criticised for being unrepresentative.
Steve Lawrence wrote that, in a Council of over 100 members:
There is only one representative for players, one
representative for referees, one representative for football fans,
there are no representatives for football coaches, and there are
no representatives for the children or 1.5 million youth players.
Football involves players, coaches, referees, the
parents of youth players and spectators. These stakeholders, some
7 million people according to the FA, are represented on the FA
by 3 people out of a Council of 114. The FA is utterly un-representative
The independent Manchester United Supporters Association
felt that the FA Council was anachronistic, with a representative
from each of the Armed Forces, the Public Schools, Oxford and
Cambridge, but just one representative of the fans.
34. Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of the Professional
Footballers Association, noted that it had taken players 100 years
to get a seat on the Council, and that players remained unrepresented
on the FA's main Board. He observed further that:
every other country in the world of football actively
encourages its former players who are prepared to stay in the
administration of the game. You look at France, Spain, Germany;
they have been very actively involved and they have been a force
for good. From our point of view that has not happened and that
is one area where we can learn a great deal from the rest of the
In its submission, the League Managers Association
similarly argued to be given a place on the Board and representation
on a key committee reporting to the Board, the Professional Game
Currently, three key stakeholders are excluded from
the decision-making process, the Football Supporters' Federation,
the Professional Footballers' Association and the League Managers
Association. For the credibility of the sport, this has to change
and the LMA believes that each of these organisations, representing
these key elements in the game, should have a place on The FA
Board as a right.
In addition, if the Professional Game Board of The
Football Association is to have credibility, then the LMA would
like to see representatives of the Football Supporters' Federation,
the Professional Footballers' Association and the League Managers
Association to be included in its composition.
35. Paul Elliot, who made a stand against racism
as a player and was awarded an MBE for his work with young players
and his involvement in anti-racism campaigns, was also concerned
by the lack of diversity within the FA's structures:
I think it is very important for the FA to modernise
and be fit for purpose for the 21st century. The game
has got to be far more inclusive, far more diverse and far more
welcoming, because there are the key stakeholders and there is
room for everybody.
A submission from the Inclusion and Diversity Caucus
the FA Council is overwhelmingly white and male,
as is The FA Board and the senior management team. There
is also extremely limited representation from people with a disability
or from the LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-gender) community.
By contrast, it noted that the Norwegian FA has specified
that at least one woman has to be represented on its executive.
The Commission on the future of women's sport argued that the
lack of women at the top of the game was damaging the FA's ability
to take women's football forward. During our inquiry, we looked
in detail at the FA Board, Council and wider committee structures.
The FA Board
36. During our oral evidence sessions we asked
Lord Triesman, Ian Watmore and Lord Burns, all of whom had detailed
knowledge of the FA's structures, for their diagnoses. As previously
noted, Lord Triesman was concerned that the FA "in my judgement
] has, apart from on-field discipline [
] backed out
of regulating altogether".
He told us further that this was a consequence of "systemic
failure". His main concern was that the main decision-making
body of the FAthe FA Boardmade up of five representatives
of the national game and five representatives of the professional
game plus the independent Chairman and the Chief Executive of
the FA, was deeply conflicted. He compared it to having Ofcom
"exclusively made up of Sky, ITN, the BBC and possibly ESPN
now". He observed
that the representative of the national game, which was partially
dependent on funding from the professional game, would not challenge
the professional game on issues pertaining to the professional
game: "On issues which are regarded as absolutely critical
to the professional game, they may not vote with them but they
will not vote against them".
37. Ian Watmore highlighted his frustrations
that, whilst he was Chief Executive, there was "nothing chief
or executive about the job".
He told us that his proposals for reform too often "either
hit the buffer of treacly governance" at Board level or "just
[weren't] possible to do at all because we didn't have control
of our money and our resources".
This is a reference to the 50:50 split of surplus FA revenue between
the National Game Board and the Professional Game Board, as explained
in the previous chapter. He commented that:
Apart from the fact that I begrudged giving FA money
back to the professional gamebecause I didn't think they
needed it and the national game did and I thought it would have
been much better to have channelled the money in that directionthe
sheer fact that we didn't have responsibility for how that money
What emerged from the 50:50 split, he felt, was an
"unholy alliance" between the professional game and
the national game "not to tread on each other's patch".
38. Ian Watmore agreed with Lord Triesman that
the Board essentially represented different interests with "no
independence and clarity".
By way of example, he cited the fact that Board member David Gill
would be conflicted in any discussion of financial governance
because of the leveraged buyout model at Manchester United. More
generally, he suggested that Premier League representatives would
be conflicted in any discussion about the FA being tougher on
calling up young players. Other submissions also cited the temporary
role of Sir Dave Richards, Premier League Chairman, as Chairman
of Club England with responsibilities over the national team,
as a particularly striking conflict of interest. Ian Watmore observed
People from various sectors of the game would sit
in meetings of the FA and talk about the FA as though it was a
third party. They were not driving the best decisions for the
organisation, which is the FA; they were driving the best decisions
for whichever area they came from [
] I believe you need
a board that is single-purpose and focused on the organisation
and I didn't think it was.
Chief amongst Ian Watmore's frustrations that led
to his resignation was his conclusion that the conflicted Board
prevented the FA from grasping the nettle on the governance of
39. Lord Burns acknowledged that some of the
proposals for reform that he had advocated in his independent
review of the FAsuch as the proposal to appoint an independent
Chairman and to give the Chief Executive a vote on the Boardhad
been enacted, but he remained frustrated that a number had not.
The key reform proposal that had not been implemented was for
the Board to have at least two independent directors to help break
the conflict of interests detailed by Lord Triesman and Ian Watmore.
He made the important point that if the FA is to become an effective
regulatory body for the off-field governance of the game, it needs
a different type of Board. He remarked that "the present
board, is as if with the Financial Services Authority we had a
controlling interest by the banks whom they are regulating".
40. We asked Lord Burns why he thought his reform
proposal had not been adopted. His response focused on the national
game representatives. He observed that, for them, Board membership
was the pinnacle of their life in footballa reward for
the work they had put in through the county associations. They
were, therefore, concerned as to which of them would lose out
if their numbers were cut to make way for more independent Board
members. He felt that the professional game would have been content
to reduce numbersa point also confirmed by the Premier
League during its evidencebut that they wanted to retain
parity with the national game. Lord Burns opposed simply increasing
the numbers on the Board on the grounds that this would make it
Reform of the FA Board
41. The most radical proposal for reform of the
FA Board came from Ian Watmore. He argued for a Board composed
entirely of independent directors. His preferred Board would have
six voting executives from inside the FA and six non-voting executives,
including an independent Chairman, drawn from football, business
or public service but independent of current club, league, county
or other footballing interests. He also recommended that the FA
Council should give ground to the independent Board and FA Executive.
He told us that he would like to see Trevor Brooking, in his current
role as FA Director of Football Development, and Hope Powell,
as the leader of the women's game, on the Board, to encourage
a focus on football issues.
42. For Ian Watmore, an independent Board would
give the FA strength without weakening the Premier League. He
felt that the enormous success of the Premier League as a competition
organiser in its own right meant that it was neither desirable
nor possible to have a FA structured along German lines where
"it is one integrated organisation where they look at the
an independent Board would give the FA enough authority to set
the financial regulatory environment, leaving the Premier League
free to run its competition and implement the rules.
He felt it would also allow the FA to push through polices that
helped the national team and the national game.
43. Malcolm Clarke, the fans' representative
on the FA Council, offered support for the model proposed by Ian
Watmore. He felt there was a strong case for the Board to be comprised
of only independent members and executive members, and cited the
Australian Football League Commission as an example of this.
44. Other contributors wanted to retain representative
interests on the Board, but to strengthen the independent element,
building on Lord Burns' earlier recommendation for two independent
directors. Lord Burns himself told us that "if I was looking
at this now I would be looking for a larger number of independent
He urged a focus on the problem that needed to be fixed, "the
fact that the Board is dominated by people whose main interests
lie on one side of the game or the other", and highlighted
the benefits that independent directors would bring, including
fresh ideas and support to the otherwise isolated independent
chairman. Lord Triesman
agreed with Lord Burns on the importance of greater independent
Chief Executive Graham Kelly also agreed on the need to provide
independent support to the Chairman.
45. The Football League already has a non-executive
director as well as an independent Chairman on its Board, Ian
Ritchie, who is also Chief Executive of the All England Lawn Tennis
club. Greg Clarke explained his value in the following terms:
I spend a lot of my time trying to find common ground
[between the different leagues] [
] when you have a number
of stakeholders in a decision-making forum it is really easy to
default to nothing ever happens because nothing can be agreed
]that is why you need independent directors.
Greg Clarke pledged the support of the Football League
in establishing independent directors on the FA Board.
46. Stoke Chairman Peter Coates and Manchester
United Chief Executive David Gill, who sits on the Board as a
professional game representative, advocated two independent directors
and a reduction in the size of the Board. The Premier League stressed
that it supported independent directors as proposed by Lord Burns.
It did not want, though, to depart too far from the principle
of the Board as representative of football interests. Premier
League Chairman Sir Dave Richards asserted that it would be a
retrograde step if the Board ever became a wholly independent
or majority independent Board.
Richard Scudamore further asserted that "the essence of the
FA has to be a representative body where representatives of the
game come together in an association to try and do what is in
the best interests of the whole game". Indeed, during the
oral evidence session, he consistently repeated his view that
the FA was, in essence, "an association of interests".
47. The Premier League strongly rebuffed suggestions
that it used intimidatory tactics or blocked reform. Richard Scudamore
pointed out that the Premier League had "unconditionally
accepted" the Burns Report.
We asked Sir Dave Richards whether he had a conflict of interests
during the time that he was both Chairman of the Premier League
and Chairman of Club England. We suggested, in particular, that
it would have been difficult for him to consider, impartially,
the case for a winter break which, it has been argued, might benefit
the national team. Sir Dave Richards denied that there had been
any conflict of interests. Richard Scudamore added though that
"I think you would admit, Dave, you were the reluctant sole
representative with that title during South Africa, because Lord
Triesman had left the organisation, and the minute David Bernstein
arrived you handed over that title or that pass had gone".
One issue arising from this example is whether it is appropriate
for the Chairman of the Premier League to sit on the FA Board,
given the scope of the conflicts of interest. The original Premier
League Rules prevented Sir John Quinton, the first Premier League
Chairman, from serving on the FA Board.
48. The Professional Football Association (PFA)
was not averse to having independent directors, but argued that
they should be from the ranks of former footballers:
If you think we must have an independent person,
well that would be good if that independent person were somebody
like Paul [Elliott] or the trustees we have, your Chris Powells,
your Garth Crooks, loads of lads.
49. The PFA was, however, keener on increasing
the range of representation on the Board to include themselves,
the LMA and supporters. Both the PFA and LMA felt that improving
the inclusivity of the Board would assist challenge and good decision-making
in the wider interests of football. A number of supporter organisations
also looked for a greater range of representation on the Board
along the lines proposed by the PFA.
50. We asked the FA what its plans were with
regard to the main Board. Roger Burden, a national game representative
on the Board, and former acting Chairman, commented that the FA's
response to the Burns review, agreeing to have an independent
Chairman but not independent directors, had appeared to be a sensible
compromise at the time. He remained unconvinced that a case had
been made for independent directors.
This very cautious approach to reform would appear to substantiate
claims that national game representatives have acted as a brake
51. By contrast, both FA Chairman David Bernstein
and his General Secretary Alex Horne accepted the pressing need
for further reform, though David Bernstein did add the caveat
that "the change needs to be for the right reasons and at
the right pace".
Alex Horne advised that "we have already put recommendations
for further independent directors on the Board".
In June the FA announced that both the FA Board and FA Council
had approved the principle of appointing two independent non-executive
directors to the FA Board. The proposal still, however, needs
the ratification of an Extraordinary General Meeting of FA Shareholders,
which will take place in August. David Bernstein stressed that
approval of independent directors was an important first step
to improving governance within the FA. The Sports Minister welcomed
the fact that David Bernstein was progressing with change to the
Board structure. However, he warned that, with the addition of
two independent executives (which would bring the total Board
representation up to 14 unless there is further change), the Board
would be in danger of becoming unwieldy: "I think the best
sort of boards are eight to ten and have a significant number
of non-executives on them".
52. The Football Association
is the national governing body of English football. It needs urgent
reform to carry out its responsibilities effectively and meet
the future challenges of the game. We welcome FA Chairman David
Bernstein's commitment to reforming his Board in pursuit of stronger
governance, and the support he is receiving from the Premier League
and Football League. We accept the value of Premier League, Football
League and national game representation on the Board, but recommend
that the Board be constructed so that vested interests do not
predominate. As the governing body of the game, the FA needs to
be able to set the strategic direction for English football. To
do this, it needs to be more than just an "association of
53. We recommend two further
FA executive staff onto the Board, in addition to the two non-executives,
which we trust the shareholders will ratify in August. We would
want the two executives to bring wider football matters to the
table. One of these should be the Director of Football Development.
54. We recommend that the FA
Board reduces to two professional game representatives (one each
from Premier League and Football League) and two national game
representatives, one of whom should be able to represent the non-League
55. There is a need to strike
a balance between an FA Board with a strong representative element
and a Board that is small enough to function effectively. Our
recommendations would result in a Board of ten, consisting of
the Chairman, General Secretary, two further executives, two non-executives,
two professional game representatives and two national game representatives.
While we can see the arguments in favour of representation from
other important stakeholders such as supporters, footballers and
league managers, we believe the arguments in favour of a more
streamlined Board are stronger.
56. The reconstructed FA Board
should reconsider whether the 50:50 divide of surplus revenues
should be scrapped in order to allow it to take strategic decisions
regarding the distribution of FA funds. In any event, the FA Board
should have greater flexibility to part-fund organisations such
as Supporters Direct, the Football Foundation and other initiatives.
Given the current availability of alternative sources of revenue
for the professional game, we would not expect the national game
to receive less than 50% of surplus FA revenue.
Reform of the FA Council
57. In addition to proposals to reform the FA
Board, we also received proposals to reform wider FA structures.
One issue highlighted was the need to reform the FA Council. The
FA's vision document for 2008-2012, published in May 2008, states
that, following Lord Burns' independent review, the FA Council
has been re-energised and made more broadly representative to
become the parliament of football.
Dr Malcolm Clarke, who sits on the FA Council as the fans' representative,
questioned whether the FA Council, as currently constituted, is
able to play the two roles that Lord Burns envisaged for it: holding
the Board to account and debating the key issues in the game.
He highlighted the following structural weaknesses:
- The Council is too big, with
118 members, which prevents serious discussion.
- Almost a quarter of its members are Vice-Presidents
or Life Presidents. Life Presidents are those who have served
20 years on the Council and have reached the age of 72. Vacancies
are backfilled. Lord Burns suggested a Council of Honour to recognise
the contribution of longstanding members of Council, but this
was not adopted.
- The format of Council meetings: the approval
or otherwise of Board and Committee minutes without background
papers or written reports hinders assessment of decisions taken.
- The Council only meets five times a year, so
a number of the decisions for consideration are past their sell-by
- There is no time for extended debate, as meetings
start at 11.00 am and finish with lunch.
- The Council lacks diversity. There are only two
women and two non-white members. Two-thirds of the Council are
over 64. Although there is an age limit of 75, this does not apply
to 24 members who were on the Council in 1990.
It does not appear that all the recommendations proposed
by Lord Burns for reform of the Council, including with regard
to inclusivity and the format of meetings, have been implemented.
58. We appreciate the invaluable work that Council
members do at the grass roots of the game. However, we share many
of Malcolm Clarke's concerns, particularly with regards to the
inclusiveness of the Council. In addition we are surprised at
the number of FA committees which report to the Council rather
than the Board. According to the FA's vision document, no less
than fourteen committees, including the Football Regulatory Authority
and a Committee on Women's Football, report direct to the Council
rather than the FA Board. This would appear to act against the
FA Board assuming control of the strategic direction of the FA.
Moreover, if the purpose of the Council is to act as a parliament
of football, then we struggle to comprehend why a shareholders
meeting needs to be convened to give further ratification of governance
decisions already proposed by the Board and ratified by the Council.
In this context, it is noteworthy that Lord Burns in his review
recommended that "Council be conducted as though it were
the shareholder body (eg in terms of debating the annual report),
in addition to its functions as the 'Parliament' of football."
He also observed that "in an ideal world it is unlikely that
there would be a case for creating two distinct oversight bodies
for the FA. Rather it would seem sensible to align the shareholding
and the Council".
59. It is interesting to contrast the rather
unwieldy structure of the FA with that of the Premier League where
20 shareholders have one vote each (with the FA's share entitling
it to limited voting rights) and there are no committees. The
simplicity and clarity of this structure have undoubtedly been
factors in the Premier League's rapid and substantial progress
since its formation.
60. A review of the FA Council should take a
particular look at length of tenure. Particularly given the pace
of change in the game, there may be merit in limiting length of
tenure on the Council to ensure that it is continually refreshed.
Lord Burns, in his review, observed that "it is not clear
that the system of life members, elected Vice Presidents and Life
Vice-Presidents is the appropriate way to reward long service".
The FA Council has, however, retained Life Vice Presidents and
Vice-Presidents. The issue of length of tenure may well have wider
applicability, given the extent to which individuals in football
occupy positions of influence for prolonged periods. The Financial
Reporting Council's UK Corporate Governance Code places an emphasis
on "the value of ensuring that committee membership is refreshed
and that undue reliance is not placed on particular individuals
should be taken into account in deciding chairmanship and membership
61. The principle that the FA
Council should act as the parliament of football is a good one.
However, the FA Council as currently constructed is not fit for
this purpose. We recommend that the FA review again the composition
of the FA Council to improve inclusivity and reduce average length
of tenure. We would not expect Council members to serve for more
than ten years. The reformed Council should review the format
of its meetings. It should also absorb the shareholder role.
Although the shareholder body is larger than the Council, there
is a high degree of overlap between the two constituencies, including
the Football Associations of Oxford and Cambridge Universities
and the three Armed Services, as well as the County Football Associations,
the Premier League and Football League.
62. We recommend that the FA
Board review the appropriateness of the current committee structure
to support the governance of the FA and football in general. All
Committees should report to the Board not the Council.
63. We recommend that the Leagues,
particularly the Premier League and Football League, consider
adopting a similar approach to tenure limits as we are recommending
for the FA Council, and is already applied to the tenure of the
Other Committee reforms
64. David Bernstein and Alex Horne made it clear
to us that, once the two independent directors proposal had been
ratified, and their future role in the wider governance of the
game established, they intended to review the FA's wider committee
structure. We have concerns that the current National Game Board/Professional
Game Board distinction below the FA Board works against strategic
decision-making. At present neither Board is fully representative
of stakeholders. The National Game Board consists of Roger Burden
(Chairman), 12 County affiliates, one non-League divisional representative
and an English schools representative. Key components of the national
game, such as supporters, footballers, women's football and diversity
in football are not represented, and the non-league pyramid appears
under-represented. The Professional Game Board consists of Sir
Dave Richards (Chairman), three Premier League representatives
and three Football League representatives. Key components of the
national game, such as fans, footballers, league managers and
diversity in football are not represented. Perhaps even more fundamentally,
the fact that no other committees, with the partial exception
of the Football Regulatory Authority, report directly to the FA
Board creates a risk of isolating issues to the extent that important
cross-cutting issues are either considered partially by one of
the two Boards or not at all. Potential cross-cutting issues include
technical matters, youth development, the FA Cup and international
65. There is an absence of FA
staff input on the National Game Board and Professional Game Board.
The FA Board appears effectively to have ceded influence in two
key financial decision-formulating bodies to two separate "bunkers",
comprising separate vested interests. We urge the FA to consider
whether the National Game Board and Professional Game Board, as
currently configured, promote strategic decision making. We say
this for the following reasons:
- The structure
has only been in place for about ten years and it is difficult
to conclude that the FA's strategic performance has improved in
that time. It has certainly added a tier of bureaucracy to an
already crowded space.
- Evidence suggests that the structure
was only put in place to reflect the 50:50 revenue split between
the professional game and the national game with the respective
boards having responsibility for allocating the money. We have
already recommended that this 50:50 split should be reconsidered.
- The FA has core responsibilities
which do not naturally follow the professional game/national game
split. The most important of these are the development of players
and coaches. The development model requires a strong pyramid with
grassroots at the base and the national team at the apex. It does
not require two pyramids sitting side by side. We have already
recommended that the FA should appoint a technical director who
sits on the Board and this should be supported by an appropriate
and streamlined committee structure. We are surprised that the
FA no longer has a Technical Committee to take overall responsibility
for development and it is difficult to see where responsibility
ultimately sits in the current structure.
37 R v Football Association Ltd, ex parte Football
League Ltd; Football Association ltd v Football League Ltd Back
Q 586 Q 587 Back
HC Deb, 8 September 2010, col 73WH Back
Q 796 Back
Q 499 Back
Q 622 Back
Q 500 Back
Q 503 Back
Q 501 Back
"Football Association must be called to account over Wembley
debts", The Guardian, 15 September 2010 Back
Q 453 Back
Q 454 Back
Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Fourth Report of Session
2005-06, Women's Football, HC 1357 Back
Ev w75 Back
Ev w205 Back
Q 750 Back
Ev w4 Back
Ev w71 Back
Q 138 Back
Ev 228 Back
Q 141 Back
Ev w214 Back
Q 29 Back
Q 36 Back
Q 40 Back
Q 346 Back
Q 347 Back
Q 365 Back
Q 350 Back
Q 362 Back
Q 27 Back
Q 36 Back
Q 364 Back
Q 397 Back
Q 368 Back
Q 37 Back
Q 49 Back
Q 36 Back
Q 50 Back
Q 102 Back
Q 597 Back
Q 598 Back
Q 588 Back
Q 595 Back
Q 142 Back
Q 537 and Q 546 Back
Q 448 Back
Q 450 Back
Q 814 Back
Football Association, The FA's Vision 2008-12: A world-class
organisation with a winning mentality, May 2008, p 16 Back
Ev 184 Back
Lord Burns, FA Structural Review: details of proposals, August
2005, p 9 Back
Ibid p 11 Back
Financial Reporting Council, UK Corporate Governance Code,
June 2010,p15 Back