Friday, 29 July 2011

MPs: The FA needs to make changes

MPs have approached the FA with a report stressing the importance of changes to the way the sport is run.

With club debt levels on the rise causing an uncertainty in their futures, it is urged that changes come sooner rather than later to promote sustainability.

Recent examples of the financial situation getting out of control would include Portsmouth going into administration in 2010 and Liverpool’s own near-demise earlier this year.

John Whittington MP, who also chairs The Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, insist the FA can handle the issues as long as they sort themselves out first.

He told BBC Sport: “The FA is the organisation for the job, but it has some way to go getting its own house in order before it can tackle the problems in the English game and address the future.

"We need a reformed FA to oversee and underpin a rigorous and consistent club licensing system and robust rules on club ownership, which should be transparent to supporters."

The 114-page report released today (which Rick Parry even contributed to) states the findings of the system of how it is run now, why there is a need for change and recommendations given forward to the FA to implement the proposed changes.

The Committee has done a great extent of research into models of other countries’ football governance, including Germany to which the committee expressed in their report was one England can learn from.

A change in English football governance could also see equality brought back to the game, where all clubs have a chance for a title and not just the ‘rich’ ones.

Journalist Patrick Collins, speaking at a meeting for the CMS Committee, stated: “Some people have a certain yearning for the kind of equality which prevailed before 1983 […] an age in which clubs succeeded by virtue of their ability.

“Derby County won a league title and Nottingham Forest won two European cups, not because they were richer than the rest but because they found a manager who was better than the rest.

“Sport lost a great deal when it lost the kind of equality that used to prevail.”

The report continues on to bring light to club ownership, including supporter involvement.

The CMS Committee believe that returning the game to a sustainable business while including supporters is an achievable feat and are encouraging the FA to take all their findings into consideration to bring improvements to the game’s governance.

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