“A world class organisation with a winning mentality” (that’s the FA, not Untold Arsenal)

With over 2000 followers: Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Tony Attwood

The government of the UK has given the governing body of English football until the end of February to sort itself out.  Talk about the blind leading the blind…

The threat behind the demand is that the FA will be regulated if it does not comply.  Potentially that could mean that the FA would be thrown out of Fifa because Fifa does not allow government interference in football.   This could be a good move!

The FA (motto: “A world class organisation with a winning mentality”) is required to become “modern, accountable and representative”.   It needs to change its decision making structures.  The FA, Football League and EPL need to work together, says the government, as it ponders what to do with 2.6 million unemployed and actively seeking work.  Maybe they could all go and work for the FA.

These demands are a response to a select committee report on football, to which Phil Gregory one of the Untold team, gave evidence.

The changes being proposed are not obviously radical – changes to the size of the board, reducing the Premier League number down to 1 on the board… that sort of thing.

There should be a new licensing system, in which the FA oversees the  rulebooks of the Premier League and Football League, with lots of “checks and balances” to “protect the overall financial integrity of the national game and its long-term viability”.

So there’s lots of hand wringing concerning “the number of clubs on the edge of viability” and “financial sustainability”, which probably means nothing much – or maybe a bit less.

But then instead of seizing the chance to distance England from the most corrupt body in world sport – Fifa – it wants to get into bed with Fifa even more than now.  It suggests no club should be given a licence unless it agrees to release players at every age level for international duty.

And what did the FA, and the leagues say in reply?  “Representatives of the national game are already engaged in this process and are committed to keeping the minister and his department informed of our progress.”

In other words, “bugger off”.

So, what’s not there?

Well, most things of interest really.   For example, on 9 June 2010 I wrote an article which compared the number of players, number of clubs, number of coaches, and level of success internally across a range of countries.

What the analysis found was that there are only 2769 coaches in England holding the three top coaching qualifications. Spain has produced 23,995, Italy 29,420, Germany 34,970 and France 17,588.  It is coaching levels that determine international success primarily, and there’s no reference to this.

Likewise there is nothing in the report in relation to the Untold submission that Phil wrote.   Phil pointed out that the current system of English football rewards insane overspending by championship clubs that gain promotion, and that what we really need is to sort out the difference between the championship and the premier league.  It is a powerful point, but it has been ignored.

Of course it would have been amazing if they had done anything in reply to either bit of research, but one always lives in hope that some of these (and the many other clearly thought through submissions) might have had an impact.

But no, we are back to the size of the board, and releasing players to play for England, plus a bit of teeth gnashing concerning football finance.

In the end it is not just football clubs that become unsustainable – it is the whole Premier League thing, with its reliance on ever growing debts, benefactors, and spiralling TV income in a country whose currency has just collapsed against the Euro.

The one good thing is that when it all falls apart, Arsenal will be ok, because we have a well-managed mortgage regarding the stadium, and we make money each year.


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4 Replies to ““A world class organisation with a winning mentality” (that’s the FA, not Untold Arsenal)”

  1. Let me assure u one thing, when all the other clubs collapse around us and arsenal will be winning everything everytime, media and pundits will still moan. This time about ‘lack of competition around arsenal’..

    fuking morons…

  2. Tony

    It is an article like this that sorts out this site from the others. Very informative, keep it up


  3. I thought the government made the right noises in respect of long-term viability of clubs with the position: “The government believes that there is a legitimate role for the national governing body, working hand in hand with competition organizers, to ensure that appropriate and consistent checks and balances are in place to protect the overall financial integrity of the national game and its long-term viability…” add that to the financial doping regulation from UEFA,the pressure is real and is pushing the FA in the right direction.
    It is ok to be pessimistic with an organization like the FA but I doubt they can keep ignoring EUFA, the government and the failing football clubs around them for too long.

  4. can’t arsenal issue new shares worth maybe 5-10% of total shares for any interested party to buy? the money can be used to pay off some debt.. so the operational profit can be used on the football aspect.. that way we can stay competitive without breaking the FFP

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