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FA told to modernise or face funding cut

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-24

Britain's minister for sport, Gerry Sutcliffe, has warned the governing body of English football, the Football Association (FA), to urgently implement reforms recommended four years ago or risk losing government funding.

AFP - The Football Association, the governing body of English football, was Thursday warned to urgently implement reforms recommended four years ago or risk losing government funding.

The threat came in a letter from Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe which demands that the FA act on recommendations made in a structural review of the organisation in 2005, notably in relation to transforming the ageing, white and male profile of the organisation.

The review, known as the Burns Report, resulted in the appointment of Lord Triesman as the FA's first independent chairman but Sutcliffe is frustrated at the lack of progress on its other proposals aimed at increasing the representation of women, ethnic minorities and fans in the organisation's decision-making bodies.

"Rugby did it with its old farts, cricket has done it and football is in a similar position," Sutcliffe said. "The old school can't continue."

Sutcliffe believes that the FA's unrepresentative structure is one of the reasons why there has been little progress on establishing a women's professional league in England.

The FA receives around 25 million pounds a year through the government-financed Sport England.

"Funding is one lever we've got," Sutcliffe said. "It would be a last resort. But there has to be, and there already is, a recognition that the status quo is not good enough."

Date created : 2009-09-24

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