Football Association Governance

Part of Occupied Palestinian Territories: Israeli Settlements – in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm on 9th February 2017.

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Photo of Clive Efford Clive Efford Labour, Eltham 4:00 pm, 9th February 2017

Absolutely. Many fans, for instance, want to see the FA have more influence over the number of home-grown players developed in our leagues. The number is woefully inadequate. Far too many of these prêt-à-porter players are imported because there is so much wealth knocking about in the Premier League; rather than develop and take a chance on a youngster, clubs buy someone off the peg and bring them in. We do not impose the rules that are there to ensure that those players contribute and add to the game. Many fans would like to see an FA that can deal with that kind of issue, and I do not see how just changing the council will make a difference.

I support the idea that there should be more independence on the board. However, I have another concern, which I will finish on. Right across sport, people from a small gene pool move about different sports and become involved in governing bodies. We need to look beyond that group of people for some real independence at the top of our national game—in other sports as well, but particularly in football.