Ian Watmore calls for changes to 'conflicted' FA

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The Independent Football

Former Football Association chief executive Ian Watmore has labelled the governing body as "conflicted" and believes an independent board is vital to its restructuring.

Watmore succeeded Brian Barwick in the post in February 2009 but resigned four months later due to perceived obstacles that hindered his vision of the body's future.

Speaking as part of the Culture Media and Sport Committee's Football Governance inquiry today, Watmore insisted that conflicted interests are hampering both the FA and the chief executive position.

"I think the words at the time I used was there was nothing chief or executive about the job and that is why [I left]," he said.

"I was frustrated about a number of things and just could not do it, in my time as chief executive of the organisation, get on and do some stuff.

"Most of what I was trying to do either hit the buffers, got stuck in governance or was just impossible to do and I didn't really feel I had control."

Speaking on the independent board, he added: "First of all, I sent a note to the committee in which I argue that all of the FA should be independent of inflicted interests.

"The reason I argue that is because an organisation like the FA is seen to be the governing body of football yet is people on its board who have a severe conflicted interest.

"They are very good people, have a very good knowledge, experience and so on but are conflicted.

"I think the usual analogy I would use is you would not want to run Ofcom with Sky, BT and the BBC.

"The governance was a problem; the staff were not a problem.

"A lot of people write about the dysfunctionality within the organisation and I think one thing I would like to stress is that the staff I worked with at the FA were absolutely fantastic and so not the image that they are portrayed.

"They are very knowledgeable, very energetic and achieve an awful lot and they were very great to work with."