The FA

When Dyke did DID

June 4th, 2013|

Dyke and the Blazers

March 28th, 2013|

The appointment of Greg Dyke as new FA Chairman had me pleasantly surprised, not least given his on the record views about FA Councillors and the organisation as a whole. […]

10 Things I Know About Football From a Decade at Supporters Direct

March 25th, 2013|

I've written a piece for Stand: Against Modern Football for their latest edition, themed around ownership. They asked me to write abut 10 things I'd learnt about fans and football in my time at Supporters Direct; some of them I kind of knew already, and my experience confirmed the suspicion, so it;s more 10 things I know for sure about football and fans.

The Impossible Job

October 18th, 2012|

The FA Council voted yesterday to not make an exception to their rule on the Chairman of the FA not serving past the age of seventy (they were always likely to reject the Board’s motion to waive the rule in Bernstein’s case, having had the same executive and Board combo urge them to not waive the rule in the past for some other of the old stagers who fell foul of it). As a result, the FA will begin a search for a new Chairman, who will be their 4th in 5 years.

It was interesting to see that the journalists who cover the FA politics beat mostly take the view that current Chairman David Bernstein’s tenure will be seen as a success. […]

Sweet FA

September 13th, 2012|

I’ve just read the FA’s ‘statement’ in response to the Hillsborough Panel’s report.

I’m still trying to work out whether it’s an artless piece of insensitive nonsense, or a litigation-avoiding non-statement. Either way, it stinks. […]

(War Minus the) Shooting From the Hip

November 8th, 2011|

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[author_info]Originally published on TwoHundredPercent about the media storm over whether FIFA should permit England’s footballers to wear poppies on their shirts when England played Spain in a friendly the day before Remembrance Sunday.[/author_info] [/author]

And so it ends. 93 years of England’s ignominious and unpatriotic failure to wear poppies on their shirts comes to a deserved end, and a nation can rest easy, safe in the knowledge that now football has fallen into line, people will actually start wearing poppies for the first time ever. Or something like that.


Football Cannot Deliver the Reform Needed Without Outside Assistance

July 28th, 2011|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Originally published on The Guardian on the day the Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into Football Governance was due to issue its final report. I had organised the submission of evidence from supporters’ trusts and given oral evidence to the committee some months earlier.[/author_info] [/author]

The Culture Select Committee’s report on football will not be as eagerly awaited as its forthcoming one on phone hacking, but to football fans involved in trying to make the game more sustainable, it represents the best chance for much-needed reform in a generation. […]

Football Club Licensing

March 28th, 2011|

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[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in March 2011.
The article was published as the Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into the finances and governance of English football neared the halfway point, by which time some clear themes were beginning to emerge.[/author_info] [/author]

We’re past the halfway point in the select committee inquiry into football governance, and some clear common points are emerging from the evidence the MPs have had submitted in writing and heard in session.

Evidence sessions got of to the punchy start with Sean Hamil of Birkbeck College making a strong case for a much more through-going system of regulation, and following him, Lord Triesman presented the initial evidence he wanted to submit to Andy Burnham when the latter asked 7 questions of the football authorities back in 2008 when speaking at that year’s Supporters Direct Conference. […]

Personal Submission to DCMS Inquiry Into Football Governance

February 14th, 2011|

In my professional capacity I am Chief Executive of Supporters Direct, where I have worked for 10 years. This is a personal submission covering issues beyond the immediate purview of the evidence submitted by Supporters Direct.
Discussion about what to do about football must eventually become discussion about how to do it. Identifying things the FA should do presupposes that it has the ability to do that, so matters of policy inevitably become governance issues. […]

Grasping the Nettle of Football Reform

January 10th, 2010|

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[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in January 2011.
The article was published as the Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into the finances and governance of English football began.[/author_info] [/author]

There’s already been several reactions to the news that a parliamentary select committee will be conducting an inquiry into football governance, taking into double figures the number of reports commissioned about the game since England won the World Cup, all of which focussed on the problems English football has in spending its money wisely and making its decisions soundly. […]

Wimbledon Football Club is Dead; Long Live Wimbledon

August 13th, 2002|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Originally published in FourFourTwo at the start of the season in which AFC Wimbledon played their first game in the Combined Counties Leagues, two months after the FA Tribunal gave permission for the Milton Keynes move which the old Wimbledon FC’s owners had been agitating for in the face of fierce opposition from fans.[/author_info] [/author]

It’s agony for the 30 Wimbledon fans gathered outside the FA headquarters as part of a vigil whilst an FA’s Commission meets to decide whether the club can move to Milton Keynes. FA Chief Executive Adam Crozier has been out to see them and given them coffee and cakes, even though the Commission is not meeting’s inside the building – it’s being held down the road in the offices of the Commission Chair, Raj Parker from the FA’s lawyers. […]

All Just a Little Bit of History Repeating…

July 24th, 2002|

The first division are getting ready to blackmail their smaller brethren for a greater share of the cash and the power. The rest are fearful of the consequences of caving in, and of standing up. This was 1985, and the Premiership was just around the corner. They caved in and got rid of gate sharing, so ending the historic revenue redistributing mechanism and it was a hop, skip and a jump to the Premiership in 1992.

Fast forward to 2002 and the same events are being played out. Like Marx said, history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. And what a farce it is. […]