Football Association in need of 'urgent reform'

A parliamentary committee has said that the Football Association needs 'urgent reform' if it is to take on the role of the real power in football, supplanting the Premier League, which has overseen an era in which many lower league clubs have experienced serious financial problems.

The committee wants the FA to start taking on financial corruption in the game, through a new club licensing system which will include a new and 'rigorously applied' fit and proper persons test. This has been prompted by what has happened at Leeds United under Ken Bates, of which the report says: 'there is no more blatant an example of lack of transparency than the recent ownership history of Leeds United.' Fingers crossed they will start digging out the people siphoning off money from the game for their own benefit.

'No one doubts the success of the Premier League in revitalising English football,' said the committee chair, John Whittingdale. 'But it has been accompanied by serious financial problems throughout the football league pyramid. Significant changes need to be made to the way the game is run to secure the future of England's unique football heritage, and the economic and community benefits it provides.

'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.'

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