The Sweeper: FA Failing in Grassroots Development

The Football Association

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The Football Association likes to boast of all its work in grassroots football and developing under-privileged sides of the game, but as we’ve seen in its continually disappointing treatment of women’s football, there’s an awful lot more talk than action.

Four years ago, the Government’s Burns Report outlined the action the FA needed to take to reform and join the 21st (or perhaps 20th) century, and their lack of action in several key areas has led Sports Minister Gary Sutcliffe to threaten a withdrawal of funding.

“To change from the old style structure to the new structure we need to have non-executive directors on the board [and] there needs to be progress in the women’s game,” Sutcliffe said.

Owen Gibson likens calling for reform of the FA to Groundhog Day, with Lord Triesman — the FA’s chairman picked to respond to the Burns report — now under fire for his failure to follow through on the accepted need for change, with the “old-school” 116-member council still lacking diversity.

How much more public embarrassment will it take the cash-rich FA to fulfill its mission to develop the sport more broadly?

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The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.

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