FA must be “truly representative” of game or public funding will stop

Downing Street Whitehall Photo Natalie

Malcolm Clarke and Kevin Miles of the Football Supporters’ Federation, together with Shadow Minister for Sport Clive Efford, met the Sports Minister David Evennett on Tuesday (3rd May 2016) to discuss ticket prices.

The meeting came about following Clive’s recent Parliamentary question to the Prime Minister regarding the FSF’s campaign to persuade football clubs to reduce the price of tickets for away fans.

The FSF raised a number of other key issues including the reform of the FA’s governance structures, the future role of the Football Ombudsman and action to implement the recommendations of the Government’s Expert Working Group on supporter ownership and engagement.

FSF Chair Malcolm Clarke said: “The meeting was very positive and we agreed on all of the issues that need to be taken forward.

"The Minister stated that the Government is expecting the FA to carry through significant reform of its governance structures to ensure it meets the required standards expected of all sporting bodies that are seeking public funding.

“He will be writing to the FA shortly to make it clear that government is prepared to withdraw this funding if insufficient progress is made to ensuring football’s governing body is truly representative of the game.”

FSF Chief Executive Kevin Miles added: “The Minister was quite clear that the status quo is not acceptable and that he expects to see these matters considered by the FA’s Board and the Council.

"The governance of the game needs to reflect all of the interested groups - the fact that there is only one fans’ representative out of 123 FA Council members is unacceptable.”

Clive Efford MP added: “Changes to the governance of the game are long overdue and it is heartening that the government is going to be tough on bringing them about.

"The FA has to understand that there could be considerable consequences for the funding of grassroots football if they do not accept that the time for change has come.”

The Minister also stated he was monitoring closely progress being made by the football authorities in conjunction with supporter groups to implement the changes agreed in the Expert Working Group’s report on supporter ownership and engagement.

He also agreed to review the role of the Independent Football Ombudsman to ensure it is using the extent of its powers in investigating complaints on behalf of football fans. 

Thanks to Natalie for the image used in this article. Reproduced here under CC licence.