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The Football Association Does F*** A**

fa logo The Football Association Does F*** A**

If you are the CEO of a company, you expect to have most if not all the power to make decisions. It’s down to you to drive the business, to solve problems and delegate where necessary. You’re in charge and you have the power to hire and fire.

However, the Chief Executive of the FA, while technically at the pinnacle of the FA’s structure, appears to have almost no power at all. All the power gets diffused through the various board members, council members and all of their vested interests. This is why Chief Exec Ian Watmore quit this week. This was a man who had worked in government so not unused to the machinations of big political machines but he’d had a gut full of it after 9 months.

It’s hard to actually know what the FA does. If you asked most fans they wouldn’t be able to tell you. Apart form dishing out fines for squabbling managers and players, what do they do?

In reality, the FA is supposed to be the governing body of English football, overseeing the game from top to bottom. However, at a professional level, the FA is all but powerless. It is the Premier League’s bitch; unable to stand up to the biggest, most monied organisation. Below that the Football League fights its own corner so well that clubs dropping out of the Premier League it will be receiving even more money and for four years instead of the current two.

So what is the FA doing? Well they wasted a ton of money on the whole Wembley fiasco – a money pit if there ever was one. They are making a ham-fisted job of the 2018 bid. They are ridden from top to bottom with vested interests all fighting their own corners – often merely hanging on to a morsel of perceived power for its own sake. Meanwhile football continues without them.

No one epitomizes this bloated redundancy more than Dave Richards. Richards – a knight of the realm for what it’s worth – is a walking, talking conflict of interest. Somehow – and we must assume it is simply through some form of old boys act, is chairman of the FA Premier League, member of the Football Association Board, chairman of the FA’s international committee, president of the European Professional Football Leagues organization, chairman of UEFA’s Professional Football Committee. Blimey.

Now that looks like a man who is keen to acquire titles. Those jobs either require very little effort or he is not committed to doing them comprehensively. Or possibly both. When Ian Watmore resigned this week, the rumours were all about his inability to work with Richards who, again it is rumoured, simply blocks any moves to change the organization which provides him with an infinite gravy train. But whether that’s true or not, Richards should not be on both the board of the FA and chairmen of the Premier League. It compromises both positions. Who does he side with in a dispute between those sides?

The FA should be fighting for football for us, the fans. It should not be craven to money. It should be protecting the English game for England fans and for every person in this country who loves football and wants to watch and play it. But it doesn’t do that. The Premier League and Football League and all the other minor league organizations do that for themselves. The Premier League likes an ineffective FA so it can do what it wants when it wants without protest. But the lower leagues and the non-professional part of the game needs a strong FA to help them, especially financially. But as the chairman of The Northern League, the second oldest league in the world, said this week – they are simply negligent and have done little to help the money in the top flights cascade down to the lower levels

Football will kick off this weekend and thousands of games will be played regardless of whether the FA have a Chief Executive or not and on one will care. That’s because the FA is an irrelevancy; merely an old boys club to tour the world on a permanent freebie, feeling important and doing exactly nothing. It’s a disgrace.

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18 Responses to The Football Association Does F*** A**

  1. CTBlues says:

    I hope they botch the 2018 bit. USA 2018!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. barry says:

    Why is “ALL” censored?

  3. patrick says:

    Odd you didn’t mention Dave Whelan’s recent call for the national team to be run by the PL.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/low/football/8586237.stm

  4. Robert George says:

    FA is a bunch of out dated old farts. Just look at the way the England teams won. No matter who manages it the same old crap players who get picked who are all names. I don’t watch England as they are like watching paint dry.

    They do nothing about poor refs and officals in the game week in and week out.

    We need a FA for the 21st century. Not an old boys club.

  5. Tom Hingley says:

    There is no such thing as the FA Premier League. The FA has very little to do with the Premier League.

    The stick you use to beat the FA with – Sir Dave Richards, is head honcho (along with Scudamore) at the Premier League, and his roles with the FA are very minor.

    The FA clearly has a role to play. I know many people on here don’t realise it, but football exists outside of the Premier League, and even the Football League. Kids football on a Sunday, playing fields, grass roots, that is all the remit of the FA, as well of course the England team.

    Yes the FA has some internal divisions to overcome, but anyone who says it does Fuck All clearly has never been involved in English football other than from an armchair point of view.

    As for the PL running the England team, what a disaster that would be. Give it a few years and I’m sure they would let teams refuse to send players on International Duty. Dave Whelan speaks a lot of crap, he is a senile old gent who needs to be ignored, not encouraged.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Tom, there is such a thing as the “FA Premier League.” The original logo for the FA Premier League can be seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:English-fa-premier-league.png As years have gone by, they dropped the ‘FA’ part in favor of just the Premier League.

      But many executives who work at the Premier League still use the @fapl.co.uk domain name which is owned by the Premier League (see http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/fapl.co.uk ).

      Yes, the FA and Premier League are different organizations but there are still ties between each.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Patrick says:

        I think a lot of the confusion is based on the break in the 90′s. The thing is they may have connections based on the FA Cup, but all the PL money is very much separate from the FA.

        and as stated in the story above I linked, the connection is that PL teams get a member on the FA board. The major concern is that many of the non PL members have no professional experience and drag down the discourse. well that and the political appointments.

  6. Tom Hingley says:

    Yep there are definitely links, as you would expect between a national governing body and the biggest league organisation. I was just pointing out the common mistake to tar the two with the same brush when they are separate entities as far as how they are run.

  7. brn442 says:

    For most English fans, the fact that England is on a her way to South Africa on the back of an efficient qualifying campaign is what matters, together with their supposed support of the game at the “grass roots” level.

    The F.A. delegated/negotiated the day to day running of the newly formed Premier League to itself after the top flight teams resigned from the Football League to join the “EPL”, but they kept control of disciplinary matters of players etc.

    You won’t get an argument from me regarding wealth sharing in football but It is up to the Football League and the non leagues to promote, market, and sell their own product. The writing was on the wall since 1992 but it took the football league years to “rename” their divisions from “2nd” division, to “1st” division, now “Championship.”

    • Tom Hingley says:

      “You won’t get an argument from me regarding wealth sharing in football but It is up to the Football League and the non leagues to promote, market, and sell their own product. The writing was on the wall since 1992 but it took the football league years to “rename” their divisions from “2nd” division, to “1st” division, now “Championship.” ”

      I couldn’t disagree more. It is a fundamental responsibility of the Premier League to redistribute it’s wealth IMO. For the good of the game.

      Obviously, as ‘sub-ordinate’ leagues, the Football League is never going to be able to command as high prices for their ‘product’. The result is ever increasing gaps that become harder and harder to bridge.

      There is another thread on here about the pro’s of promotion and relegation. If the EPL continues to harvest the majority of the cash, and not distribute it more fairly, there may as well be no promotion/relegation to the Premier League.

      TV rights recently broke the £1bn barrier. A minute amount of that money could have saved a club like Chester. But regardless of saving clubs, regular payments from the PL down the football pyramid will keep league fluidity and competitiveness up, to the benefit of their own product.

      • brn442 says:

        As I’ve said; “you wouldn’t get an argument about wealth sharing” from me.
        But the whole point of why the Premier League was formed was so they could sign their own lucrative TV contracts and keep most of the cash, that was way back in ’92.

        As for “It [being] a fundamental responsibility of the Premier League to redistribute its wealth.” That’s all good in the faux world of recycled Marxist theory but in the real world, life isn’t fair so it’s up to the Football League to work with the product they have, and up until a few years ago, they did a lousy job doing so. You want to argue that the F A should do more – ok, but don’t hold your breath for the Premier League to do so.

        • Tom Hingley says:

          I was only 3 when the PL broke off, so I’m not versed on the complete ins and outs of it, so bare with me…

          No doubt English football has benefited from the formation of the Premier League. But it strikes me that this benefit is more related to the fantastic rebranding and consequential TV deals than the fact the teams were able to keep more money. Although I do concede that obviously more cash correlates with better players (although the true correlation is with better paid players, which isn’t necessarily the same thing!)

          The thing with the recycled Marxism is that it is applicable in terms of football because the sport relies upon a fixed pyramid system. There has to be sufficient trickle-down to maintain the foundations below.

          I think most football fans would agree that if the EPL were to completely break off, and exist in isolation from the football pyramid, it would be poorer for it. Thus, if it wants to remain a part of the system, I think it should probably contribute more.

          The solidarity payments, and extension of parachute payments in recent years are a step in the right direction. But with regards to the former, I think a permanent increase, that smaller clubs can rely on is needed, as opposed to occasional windfalls.

          Ultimately, you can’t make comparisons to real world business, because the Football League agrees to sub-ordinate itself for the good of the game. Not many businesses in the ‘real world’ would purposely put themselves at a disadvantage for the good of a ‘rival’.

  8. brn442 says:

    Well, I was a teenager when the Premier League was formed and I had my doubts then, with the same fears you have. The fact is however, it exists now and I’m sure its supporters will argue that the EPL has done exactly what it was designed to do – which was – to rescue top flight English Football from its post Hillsborough nadir, conform to the recommendations of the “Taylor Report” , whilst being competitive with the top leagues on the continent.

    The Football League didn’t purposely agree to sub-ordinate itself to anyone, it just did by default, by not being aggressive with their marketing in the 90′s.

    As they’re now a 2nd tier league, they will never have the financial clout of a top division but they have what the likes of Serie B, Ligue 2, Segunda Division don’t: History, Atmosphere, Marketable Club Brands, and a solid structure. The last few years, their title and promotion run ins have been more fluid, exciting, and interesting than the “same old top four” EPL, it’s a shame they haven’t taken full advantage of it.

  9. forma says:

    There is no such thing as the FA Premier League. The FA has very little to do with the Premier League.

  10. Chris Stevens says:

    how does the EPL and the F A cup have conjuction or work together, what do thy have to do with eachother

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