The Sweeper: FA Failing in Grassroots Development
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?
- Liverpool’s slow summer spending is explained, as the Independent reports the club has an annual spending cap of £20m. If true, I wouldn’t have spent £18.5m of that on Glen Johnson myself, would you?
- Why did Sol Campbell really walk out on Notts County? Interestingly, especially in the context of the continued questions over their ownership, the Independent suggests it had less to do with playing in League Two and more to do with the fact Campbell was concerned he was never going to receive the mad money he’d been promised, as he saw the lack of actual investment at Meadow Lane as contrary to promises of rapid improvement. Sven, meanwhile, seems to care less about the mystery of Munto’s financing, simply saying that “the important thing is that the money comes.”
- Twohundredpercent laments the end of Ceefax, the text news service on English television. A sad day, though it was always more useful for cricket. The BBC has a nice tribute page as well.
- Gambia has admitted “two or three” of its players from the African U-17 championship failed an age test, a controversial technique discussed here recently
- Drew Carey is the latest to join the motley gang on the USA World Cup Bid Committee.
- The Olympian has the ins and outs on the tight travel budgets for MLS teams, who famously fly commercial and stay in mediocre hotels — with the Seattle Sounders particularly stretched with the league-high 46,898 miles this season they’ll cover. The players want a straight up $50 food budget a day, instead of the complicated $8 for breakfast, $20 for lunch and $30 for dinner. Sounds alright to me though: that more than covers a $2 Dunkin’ Donuts bagel breakfast, $5 Subway lunch and $15 Applebee’s dinner, doesn’t it?
The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.