It has long been said that the FA have lost their way as far as the national game is involved both in the national side and at grass roots and now the government have said enough is enough.
The politicians havw issued a February deadline for the FA to introduce wide-ranging reforms to the governance of the English game, including controls on club debt and more stringent checks on foreign owners.
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said: “This country is hugely passionate about our national game and there are many reasons we should be pleased with how it has progressed over the last two decades. However, I believe that there are improvements that can be made in the governance arrangements, which have failed to keep up with the changing pace of the modern game. I do not want Government to run football, so this is an opportunity for the football family to work together to benefit the game in the long-term.”
The Government says there should be a system of licensing for clubs where financial sustainability and robust checks on club owners and directors are included.
“Debt per se is not always a bad thing, but it must be genuinely sustainable and should be assessed as a percentage of turnover,” the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said.
“There is a legitimate role for the national governing body, working hand in hand with competition organisers, 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.”
In the Premier League’s half of the clubs are currently under foreign ownership
“Because of the inherent attraction of English football clubs to foreign investors and markets, particularly robust criteria need to be applied to prospective owners and directors before they are allowed to own or run a club,” the DCMS added.
The long term success of the game require clubs to operate in a responsible manner and with the new UEFA Finnancial rules shortly to be implemented the FA must show strong leadership.