FA working on reform as former bosses demand change

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The Football Association insisted they are working on "governance reforms" as five former bosses criticised the embattled English governing body and demanded parliament step in to implement change.

Former chief Greg Dyke, David Bernstein, David Davies, Alex Horne and David Triesman wrote a letter to chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee Damian Collins, demanding the government propose legislation to reform the structure of the FA, five years after a parliamentary committee called for urgent reform.

Dyke and Co. highlighted the FA's failure to reform and "modernise in a fast-changing world", pointed to the body's inability to counter the Premier League juggernaut, mentioned the national team's woes, while the quintet added "there are some 25 life vice-presidents on the FA Council - all elderly white men - who do not represent anyone but block even the most minor of changes".

The FA responded by releasing a statement, which read: "The FA is currently working on governance reforms to adhere to Sport England and UK Sport's Governance Code for Sport which was released in October this year.

"The FA welcomes the new Code as a means of ensuring that sports organisations in receipt of public money are operating in an effective and transparent manner that best supports their sports. 

"We will continue to work with the appropriate bodies, DCMS and Sport England, to achieve this joint ambition."

The Premier League published a statement of its own, adding: "The Premier League has always supported the FA's governance reforms, for example backing the changes recommended by Lord Burns in their entirety. 

"We have kept patience when past chairmen and chief executives at the FA have failed to deliver, but will continue to work with the current leadership team at the FA to progress their governance agenda.

"The Premier League is investing unprecedented amounts at all levels of the game; delivering a new generation of community football facilities, sustaining youth development across the top four divisions, our clubs listening to fans over issues like ticket prices as well as working with government to ensure the Premier League's ability to engage and inspire young people is optimised.

"The English game is envied around the world, renowned for its integrity, professionalism and sustainability. We will keep working hard to ensure standards are maintained and bettered. Others in the game have a responsibility to do the same."