Thompson admits to mistake on home front
Sunday 03 November 2002
Geoff Thompson, the much-criticised chairman of the Football Association, has admitted he may have been guilty of concentrating too much on international affairs rather than important issues in the domestic game.
The power struggle between the FA and the Premier League over who should control the commercial aspects of the professional game led to FA chief executive Adam Crozier's resignation on Thursday. The Premier League want a greater say in the FA's decision-making when those decisions concern players from their competition, whether they are representing their clubs or the England team.
Crozier felt this was too much influence for the FA to concede and decided to quit, and many observers feel the pressure is now on Thompson to do likewise. However, he feels his only mistake was perhaps to focus too much on building bridges internationally rather than putting the FA's house in order.
He told the BBC's Football Focus: "I am disappointed. We tried to bring back unity and develop international relationships with Fifa and with Uefa. Perhaps I may have spent more time building up international relationships than being here at home."
He added: "The FA are the governing body and will continue to run the game and continue to be in total charge of the England team."
Meanwhile, Richard Scudamore, the Premier League chief executive, sought to play down the shift in power but felt the game was heading to "a new place". "What we've been subjected to over the last few months and last few days is an awful lot of hysteria," he said. "I can assure everyone that the Premier League and all of their clubs are entirely committed in supporting the four Premier League representatives on the FA board.
"These are hard-working people who give of their time and expertise and have the interests of the game at heart. Hopefully, we will move the game on to a new place. We have to believe it will be better than the old place."
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