Football: What happens now? The experts' view

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The Independent Online
PAUL HUNTER

Football Conference chair

When Graham Kelly joined the Football Association, he had a great deal of experience in football administration. During his time in office, he did try to understand the issues facing non-League clubs, but never really got to grips with them. I hope that the new chief executive has a football background based on all levels of the game. Because that is the crucial thing about the FA: it can't just be for the Premier and Nationwide Leagues, it must represent every English club.

ALISON PILLING

FSA chairwoman

It is fairly clear to us that the FA has been split for some time. Now that David Davies has stepped into the breach and said that he would be looking for new links with supporters' organisations, we hope that this is more than just a sound-bite and that the FA will really change. For too long now, the fans - who are pouring a lot of money into football - have had no formal representation or power. We hope that the "new" FA will genuinely listen to supporters.

TREVOR WATKINS

AFC Bournemouth chairman

I hope that the "new" FA will be run and structured like the Football League. First, it must look, genuinely, at the wider interests of the game - if the FA believe that England can have 92 professional clubs, they need to back that decision and ensure their survival. Second, the FA need to show more bite and introduce radical measures to protect the long-term interests of the game. Third, we must have an independent chairman and chief executive - people with a business mind and strong voice.

BRIAN MOORE

Former ITV commentator

The first thing that football needs is an influential figurehead to steady the ship: someone like cricket's Lord MacLaurin, who loves their sport and has experience in handling big business. A mix of a 50-year-old Jimmy Hill and a Michael Grade would be ideal. As for the new chief executive, he should come from the Premiership, where men like Keith Lamb and Michael Dunford have real business acumen. Finally, the FA must trim down so that a selected few take the decisions swiftly.

GORDON TAYLOR

PFA chairman

It is important for the FA to rebuild its reputation as well as achieve more influence, particularly on the world stage. The FA's current ambit is quite clearly too big. There needs to be a streamlining of solutions to complex problems, and this can only happen if the FA becomes pro-active rather than reactive. Football is so special that bringing in an outsider isn't the solution. I believe the new chairman and chief executive must breathe and live football.

INTERVIEWS: ALEX HAYES

MATT TENCH

Editor, Four-Four-Two

This is a chance for a full-scale shake-up of the FA to take place. I would like to see a more streamlined organisation, giving extra powers to a single figure - someone who could come in from outside and inject a bit of energy and drive into the antiquated FA - who could take English football into the next century. And should the FA be unwilling to reform itself, then the Government should intervene. Football is a huge business which must be run professionally.

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