“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Surely if Benjamin Franklin had lived today he would have added a third thing to his famous pronouncement; the FA making a mess of anything that it touches.
Last night’s events involving England Manager, Mark Sampson, brings yet more scrutiny, shame and ridicule on the organisation which limps from crisis to crisis, seemingly unable to watch ninety-minutes of football without bringing the game into disrepute.
As a public body – responsible for administering the nation’s most loved, played and economically-important sport – the FA has to operate within its legal framework, discharging its responsibilities and meeting the statutory responsibilities it has. But there is something more important – something that every public institution needs to understand. It only gets to continue to do its work – to continue to hold authority – if it can maintain public confidence. Yesterday’s sorry episode is further evidence that the confidence ship has sailed.
I will not comment in detail on their decision to sack Mr Sampson – it is clear from their statement that not all the facts are being made public – at least yet – but to anyone who have an ounce of PR/communication nous this outcome was inevitable. We are left, as so often with the FA, asking not just why did it take so long but why was this person appointed in the first place. Given its risible performance as an organisation over many years we are past the point of calling for “root and branch” reforms or new leadership – the time has come for radical solutions.
The FA must be taken over temporarily by government. It must be abolished its in current form – with it outdated and irrelevant governance structures – and reconstituted as a new body, made accountable to parliament, independent of government and vested interests and start to act in the interest of football not those who work within it. Millions of people – including hundreds of thousands of children could benefit from a high-performing FA working for them.
It’s time not only to show the FA re red card but to hand it a life ban from the game. We need a new FA. A new start. A new positive future. An end to this pathetic, hopeless, clueless, embarrassment of a governing body.
Photo taken from FA website: http://www.thefa.com/about-football-association