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February 2021

The breakthrough moment: we could be on the edge of getting rid of the FA and Fifa in one go.

There is an advert in the Daily Express for jobs in the Department of Media Culture and Sport.  That is the government department that controls the Football Association.  The department’s position in supporting moderation and equality is somewhat undermined as it appears alongside the headline “MIGRATION WARNING: 50 million Muslims are willing to back violence and terror.”

Of course the Department of Media Culture and Sport is not responsible for the articles in the neo-fascist daily papers that British people buy, but they know what sort of articles these companies run.  Worse, the readership profile of the Express is heavily biased towards the elderly and the unemployed.   I am certain that when the government appoints people to the jobs on offer they will neither be of over retirement age nor unemployed.  So, other than funding neo-fascism there is not much reason for advertising there.

But it is all part of the signage that tells us that rather than reform the governance of football in England, the government either can’t be bothered or is quite happy for things to get worse and worse.   Maybe they think it will hide their difficulties in other areas.  Well, actually, Europe, the only area of work they are engaged in at the moment.

Of course the FA might have noticed that the House of Commons passed a “no confidence” motion in football’s governing body’s ability to reform itself.  Sadly since there were only 17 members of parliament out of the 650 elected to the chamber who could be arsed to vote (that is about 3%) you can see just how important all this is to the government and those who represent us.

The motion was proposed by the chairman of the culture, media and sport committee Damian Collins.  Tracey Crouch, the utterly inept the sports minister who looks so far out of her depth it is a wonder she is still breathing, said she agreed the FA needed to make reforms, but argued the vote was premature because the FA has until the end of March to comply to one range of reforms – diversity.

Reading a speech clearly written for her she failed to mention just how many times the FA has failed to comply with diversity regulations, and somehow managed to ignore the fact that she had previously proposed cutting the millions of pounds of tax payers money she throws at the FA each year.

Meanwhile Kick It Out and the Football Supporters’ Federation are complaining to the Football Association over “unhelpful comments” made by one of its council members about reform within the game in England.

These comments were made by Ray Kiddell, an FA council member for 37 years, who said on BBC Radio 5 Live in response to questions about diversity, “we’ve got a Buddhist and a Muslim on the council. Now who else do we put on the council, a Jew?”

In response, the sports minister probably nodded a lot and said “good point well made”.

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The problem is however Kick It Out and the FSF are still pointing at the bleeding obvious – that the FA is run by morons.  Then they say, “It’s imperative the FA council become champions of equality. Unhelpful comments by representatives show a lack of understanding and highlight that education is needed. Kick It Out and the FSF will send a letter of complaint to the FA on this matter.”   And what will happen?   Nothing.  Only when they join in the campaign to get the FA utterly and totally abolished and for England to withdraw from Fifa will we be able to make proper reforms.

Theoretically the FA could lose most of its £30m grant if it fails to reform by the end of March.   But for that to happen someone would have to tell sports minister Tracey Crouch what her job is and I don’t think anyone wants to do this, in case she then moves to someone else’s department.

As Marina Hyde wrote in the Guardian, “At times, it feels as if the sole dynamic in British public life is one body accusing another body of being in existential crisis, in order to divert attention from its own existential crisis. And yes, of course that includes newspapers.”   I think I’ve made a similar point once or twice, although Ms Hyde always manages a far better turn of phrase than me even if I don’t always agree with her.

Here’s another excellent comment from the same writer:

“Back in December, you may recall, five elderly white men who used to be big at the FA wrote to parliament to explain that the FA was culturally incapable of reform because of elderly white men.”   A perfect summary.  Greg Clarke, the FA Chairman, has said he will step down if reform is not instituted.  And he will be replaced by…

Of course the FA is not the only sporting body riddled with such gross incompetence that if it were a business it would not only be bankrupt but the directors would be imprisoned and upon release ordered never ever to go within 100 miles of any other organisation ever again.  Athletics, rugby union, equestrianism and yachting are just four English sporting arenas that are totally screwed up.   (But it doesn’t matter because athletics is run by Baron Coe, CH, KBE, FRIBA, whose closest aide Nick Davies was sacked after admitting taking £26,000 cash payments from son of IAAF president Lamine Diack.  And a man who was on the IAAF Council which clearly knew about doping and the non-enforcement of applicable anti-doping rules for years and did nothing about it.  That man was Baron Coe, CH, KBE, FRIBA.

Now I must admit I do have a second reason why I want the government to intervene in the chaos and catastrophe that is the FA beyond saving £30m of tax payers’ money.  While Fifa openly promotes corruption in all its forms (setting up model agencies for regional associations to copy in this regard) it gets a bit worked over governments doing anything about it.

So if the government interfered with the FA by sacking everyone involved, Fifa would then suspend England, and we would have got rid of our engagement with the heart of corruption and the heart of incompetence all at the same time.

Then all we would have to do is sort out athletics.

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11 comments to The breakthrough moment: we could be on the edge of getting rid of the FA and Fifa in one go.

  • para

    Governments doing something about corrupt FA and FIFA? HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ….

    Are’nt governments the most corrupt of them all?

    Good joke!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I do hope that your wishes come to pass, Tony ,and they all get their comeuppance ,and some form of justice be seen to done .
    More likely they ‘d probably incriminate themselves in their endless stupidity or rat on each other to avoid jail time .

    I’ m looking forward to it . Hope it allgoes along these lines….

  • Norman14

    Unfortunately, the DMCS has placed emphasis on the popular areas for major reforms. These centre around equality and diversity.

    No reform has been mentioned of PGMO, it’s membership, the way it rules the game, or the insistence upon transparency.

    So, whilst we can probably expect the average age of the FA to reduce from 80 to 75 and the number ethnic members to increase by 5 and women by 2, we shouldn’t be holding our breath for reforms within the game itself.

    Personally, I think it’s high time that Sian Massey-Ellis was promoted to Elite Referee status – she obviously has much better grasp of the laws than any of those blokes!

    Oops, of course, now I get it Mike 😉

  • MickHazel

    With all the crap the media and pundits are throwing at Mesut Ozil I wouldn’t blame him if he said ‘bollocks, I don’t have to put up with this shit, I’m off’. And who could blame him.
    Nearly all our ex players are jumping in with both feet as well, shame on them. They should be sticking up for him, but the only one I have seen doing that is Rio Ferdinand.

  • Norman14


    Or alternatively, take Conte’s line when he was asked about Joey Barton.

    “Barton? Joey Barton? Who is Joey Barton? Barton?

    I can see Mesut now:

    “Quinn? Niall Quin, What is a Niall Quinn? Quinn?”

    (Replace name as required)

    They are all Tosspots!

  • finsbury

    The Wembley boondoggle finished off the FA,
    Unlike the first commentator i don’t think anyone in English football at any level ever expected any better from the clowns who once chose Revie over Clough, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t laugh at them. Or at lesser clowns like the reject from a Harry Potter movie. Because surely when anyone dresses up like a clown, puts on a giant red nose, and then puts themselves in the public eye it’s because they want people to laugh at them (bit like AFTV then)?

  • Gord

    FA Cup – Sutton United vs Arsenal

    The Sun has had sufficient problems with the truth, that Liverpool!!!! has banned them. But, the Sun is running a story about the upcoming FA Cup game.

    According to the article, not only was Arsenal thinking of donating its share of the gate to Sutton United, it was also thinking of donating its share of the TV money.

    Doesn’t The (sweet) FA have enough to worry about, without getting its foot into this? If it is true.

    I don’t know. Maybe some time this summer the grass needs mowing at Colney, and the grounds keeper has the flu. Call Sutton United and see if they might want to come and cut the grass, for say 400,000 pounds (or whatever this mythical amount the Sun is talking about is)?

    Oh, in other “news” from The SUN, Sun columnist Ian Wright was training Sutton United lately. That’s kind of a coincidence. Arsenal has an ex player named Ian Wright. Occasionally says nice things about Arsenal and/or Wenger.

  • ob1977

    The colour, race, and age of the creatures running the FA is quite far down the most of things that bother me about the FA, the fact that they are corrupt and useless bothers me a lot more, replace “FA” with “government” or “pgmo” or “premier league” or “sky” and you get my general feel for all things that either ru(i)n our football or our country…

  • Flares


    I have two questions for you.

    1/ Are you genuinely suggesting that the Express newspaper is promoting a neo-fascist ideology? (As, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this site daily for around a year or so now, and would be depressed in ceasing to do so if I thought you were pushing a Leftist, or indeed any extremist political viewpoint, on a site dedicated to discussing Arsenal Football Club)

    2/ Do you agree with any policy – within politics, business, sport or any organisational structure – that requires a minimum percentage within certain demographics to be represented, even if in doing so the individuals retained were in fact contemptibly lazy, incompetent, corrupt or self-interested?

  • The revolution will not be televised, but it will be bloody! I told you so!

  • Racism and classicm is everywhere, you don’t see buxom ethnic majoirty women in mahgazines, in fact they call the ethnic Majority the minorty, I have a question, are you an idiot, or simply playing devils advocate badly?

    MickHazel, you epitoise the modern thinking, pack it in and quit, Mesut isn’t allowed to leave! Simple, see out your contract and then by that time, Henry will be coming in!