FA stuck in credibility gap over challenges of football’s era of truth

Greg Clarke and co lack the trust needed to tackle the game’s rising tide of allegations of abuse and racism

It is flicking through the glossy pages of the Chelsea programme, going back a few years now, when you come across the article name?checking one of the club’s former youth-team players and perhaps get a flavour of how much has changed in such a short space of time.

In particular, it’s the line three?quarters of the way down that jumps off the page with its description of the player as a “black guy who was the butt of a lot of jokes”. It is an awkward choice of words at the best of times – why mention the player’s skin colour? – but particularly so bearing in mind what we know now and the fact it is referring to one of the boys who now alleges his treatment at Stamford Bridge went a long way beyond innocent humour. According to the author, that boy “was almost too nice to make it in football”. The player will argue it is not a case of being too nice when there were people, two or three times his age, who were allegedly subjecting him to racial abuse.

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