The Last Word: Here's the bold commission Greg Dyke should have chosen...

 

Greg Dyke had his chance and blew it. Instead of innovation and imagination, he chose conservatism and conciliation. The Football Association's self-styled radical was excessively respectful to the dysfunctional system he supposedly seeks to dismantle.

His commission, tasked with producing yet another blueprint for English football, represents a missed opportunity and will be reduced to a talking shop. It contains the wrong people chosen for the wrong reasons.

It requires courage to change a culture. The following alternative commission, containing free thinkers and natural leaders, would drive home the message: adapt or die:

Eni Aluko

Chelsea's England striker has combined law with a football career which flourished in the US. She has 74 caps and a reputation as a convincing advocate for the womens' game. Her brother Sone, the Hull forward, represented England at age-group level before opting to play for Nigeria.

Dan Ashworth

He is in the system as the FA's Elite Development Director, but not of the system. Yet to be tainted as a time-server, he retains the credibility established in an over-arching role at West Bromwich. Organised and strategic, he is in danger of becoming bogged down by the FA's box-ticking mentality.

Ric Charlesworth

Former politician and surgeon, whose teams are known for their work ethic and self-discipline. An Australian state cricketer, he played hockey for that country for 16 years before coaching their womens' team to three Olympic titles. He mentors coaches in a wide range of sports, including Aussie Rules, and has overseen structural change in New Zealand cricket and Indian hockey.

David Dein

The apparatchiks, busy spreading the myth of the Premier League's commitment to the cause, would have cause to fear Arsène Wenger's most effective ally. He combines political nous with commercial experience. He is globally respected and knows how the FA's natural opponents think, operate and influence.

Brian Kidd

A European Cup winner with Manchester United at 18, he is an undervalued development coach. Seven years as Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant ended badly, but he has been a reassuring figure at a time of fundamental change at Manchester City. He understands the parameters of England's problems, having spent a year as Sven Goran Eriksson's assistant.

John McDermott

Tottenham's Academy manager worked in grassroots football before graduating to the elite environment, where he has coached England age-group teams. His philosophy involves expecting his coaches to be "igniters, inspirational people". His players are monitored for technical, social and intellectual development.

Steve Peters

The "mind mechanic" of British sport, who has counselled and created champions in athletics, cycling, snooker and swimming, is working with Liverpool. He is a clinical psychiatrist who uses his experience in high-security prisons to address performance anxiety – the fear and irrationality which traditionally plagues England footballers.

David Pleat

A manager of vast experience and unerring insight, he is currently a recruitment consultant to Tottenham. This involves scouting teenage players and utilising a global network of contacts. He also mentors aspiring coaches and managers.

Karl Robinson

A left-field choice from League One, but since becoming the Football League's youngest manager at 29, he has spent three years honing a holistic coaching programme at MK Dons. Urgent and imaginative, he is a protégé of the Liverpool Academy.

Roger Spry

The best English coach you've never heard of. Attached to the Austria national team, he is a pioneer in sports science, whose only English football experience came early in his career at Aston Villa. He has worked for 12 international managers, and encourages players to learn from martial arts and Brazilian dance.

All hail the true fans of football

Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation, applied to attend the Leaders in Football Conference, staged at Stamford Bridge in midweek. He underwent a phone interview, an extraordinarily crass exercise in self-aggrandisement, but never got as far as paying the four-figure sum required to be a delegate.

The organisers, it seems, did not want fans on the premises. The inference was they would taint the debate, stimulated by the likes of Joey Barton, and taken extremely seriously by people who talk stridently about something called "footie".

For them, football represents a fast buck and a well-stroked ego. For men like Jamie Hurst, Andy Gibbs, Russ Abbott and Simon Blyth, the game is rather more important.

They supported Southern League Hinckley United, liquidated at precisely 11.13am last Monday. Yesterday, they answered a key question: what do fans do when their club no longer exists? Hurst tried Oadby Town, but it wasn't the same. Gibbs spent the day with his daughter. Abbott saw Gresley play Belper. Blyth is making a trip to watch Wick Academy in the Highland League. A light has gone out in their lives. The empty suits would not understand.

Toutlandish!

Only five nations have applied for more World Cup finals tickets than England, who have asked for 96,780. It is safe to assume legions of British ticket touts, who know a nice little earner when they see one, are largely responsible for such interest.

Makes you proud, doesn't it?

Arts and Entertainment
A host of big name acts recorded 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' in London on Saturday
musicCharity single tops chart
News
people
News
peopleChildren leave in tears as Santa is caught smoking and drinking
Sport
premier leagueHull vs Tottenham match report
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Morgana Robinson
arts + entsIt is not easy interviewing Morgana Robinson. Here's why...
News
video
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin