Sutcliffe unhappy with FA

Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe today demanded the Football Association fulfil its obligations by showing stronger leadership in its governance of the sport.

Sutcliffe wrote to the FA, Premier League and Football League after they replied individually to seven questions put to them last year by then Culture Secretary Andy Burnham.

He criticised the brevity and content of the FA's response, which compared unfavourably with those returned by the Premier and Football Leagues.

A key area has been the slow progress made in addressing the recommendations of the 2005 review conducted by Lord Burns, which set out to modernise the FA by making it stronger and more transparent.

Sutcliffe has requested greater urgency in implementing the reforms promised in the wake of the Burns report.

"We wanted a joint response to the questions. Why couldn't all three bodies respond together? That was the first disappointment," said Sutcliffe.

"Then for the FA to say they hadn't the power to comment on all the issues we raised with them sent a strong message to me that we must make sure it plays a full role as the governing body of the framework that the leagues operate in.

"I wanted to see a greater pace and greater understanding of how the game is changing and how the challenges that we are facing need to be addressed. The FA should be leading the way.

"We sent the letter last year and have given adequate time for the responses, but we won't continue with the paper chase.

"What needs to happen now is we've set out some challenges and must sit down with the guys, individually to start with and then collectively, to make sure we address those issues.

"We need to turn this into an active, ongoing discussion where we get some outcomes.

"The Government first got involved in discussions with the FA in 2005 and the FA commissioned the Burns report which the Government supported. But it has not been fast enough.

"We keep reminding the FA of what their own report says. We want them to act upon that and we're sure that they will."

Sutcliffe played down the possible repercussions should the FA fail to act, but highlighted the size of the Government's financial contribution to football.

"There are all sorts of levers we can use but I don't want to make threats because we're not in that type of environment. I know we'll get a positive response," he said.

"We fund football through the Whole Sport Plan for £25million and contribute £15million to the Football Foundation each year."

The FA have been urged to introduce two independent, non-executive directors to its board and to improve the growth of the game for women and ethnic minorities.

"I want to see things like coaching and the women's game to be developed. We need to have an elite women's league," said Sutcliffe.

"There are also issues that we put to the Premier League like transparency and openness.

"The need for two independent directors to be on the board is very strong and that's recognised by the FA.

"I hope they will act on it very quickly. You need to have people who represent that wider voice.

"It's happened in other sports and we want to see the same in football."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions