Football: Hoddle's position is secure, says FA

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The Independent Online
THE POSITION of the England coach, Glenn Hoddle, will not be affected by the crisis within the leadership of the game's governing body, the Football Association have insisted.

Hoddle has been informed of the resignation of the FA chief executive, Graham Kelly, and the vote of no confidence passed in the chairman, Keith Wiseman, by the FA's executive committee yesterday.

The England coach is employed by the FA, and Kelly and Wiseman have been two of his greatest supporters during the months of criticism which Hoddle recently endured.

However, the FA's director of public affairs, David Davies, who is now temporary executive director, maintained: "I will be discussing the situation with Glenn Hoddle but it is not something that immediately affects him."

The Football Association of Wales president, John Hughes, last night said there was "nothing sinister" in the FA's offer of financial help.

Hughes has only been involved in negotiations for the last 18 months, talks which were started by a former president Brian Fear, who stepped down in line with FAW policy, which sees a new president appointed every three years.

Hughes said: "All that money was earmarkd to go to charity and the Welsh football trust to help promote and develop our youth and women's football in Wales.

"There was nothing sinister in it and it certainly had nothing to do with the senior side.

"Whatever has been done has been with the full knowledge of the FAW council. I passed on the resolution to them and they voted on it.

"What has happened has upset me and I am quite shocked at the news of Graham's resignation because he is a great friend. The FA has lost a good man.

"I've a lot of admiration for the work he has done at the FA and his work which has seen him devote a lot of his time to Uefa and Fifa."

Commenting on last night's developments, the Sports Minister, Tony Banks, said in a statement: "It is a matter great sadness to hear of events at the FA. However, it is for the internal workings of the FA to resolve the current situation.

"In the meantime the Government expresses its satisfaction with the stated deter- mination of the FA to pursue with all vigour England's 2006 World Cup bid, which is fully supported by the Government."

David Mellor, head of the Government's Football Task Force, has called for a radical overhaul of the game's administration following Kelly's resignation.

Mellor believes Wiseman should also go, even though he has refused to resign in spite of a unanimous vote of no confidence.

"On a personal level I'm very sorry about this," he said.

"I like Graham Kelly, and he worked hard to make the existing structure of football administration work well in this country.

"But what has happened today, plus all the other problems that have either been mishandled or not handled by the FA, must surely make everyone who cares about the game aware that there will have to be a massive shake- up in the way football is administered.

"We can't go on like this, and it will obviously be part of the remit of the Task Force to discuss the issue as to whether or not an independent regulator for football is needed.

"What seems to me to be clear is that finding a replacement for Graham Kelly and one must presume Keith Wiseman, since his position is surely untenable, is merely papering over the cracks.

"There is no alternative to fundamental change.

"What is needed is a proper administration for football that is appropriate to a modern high-profile, financially driven game.

"I think it's not only Keith Wiseman and Graham Kelly who will end up going, and some of the elderly gentlemen in the blue blazers also need to consider their positions.

"The case for change is irresistible."