The FA ratifies required reform, but don’t mistake it for revolution | David Conn

The Football Association has passed modest reform, which will see more women on its governing council and board and bring it in line with Sport England requirements, but the game has a long way to go

The Football Association has ratified the modest reforms proposed to its governing council and board, so mercifully drawing to a finish a torturous and long?winded saga of internal reordering. The immediate consequence is that the FA’s structure and makeup of its board, which will have three women and seven men by next year, complies with the – also modest – requirements of the new official code for sports governance.

This means that several unlikely threats made to the FA – and by the chairman, Greg Clarke, to resign if he did not deliver the reforms – will not be fulfilled. The FA will qualify for the £30m in lottery money it receives from Sport England for grassroots programmes, whose possible removal was dangled if it resisted reform. The sports minister, Tracey Crouch, will not be proceeding with the threat to knock the FA into shape by law, which she made a little reluctantly at a select committee hearing in December, and which seemed as unrealistic as all the previous government threats to legislate for football made over the last 20 years. A vote by 17 MPs in February for a motion of no-confidence in the FA’s ability to reform, proposed by the campaigning Conservative MP Damian Collins, will now be seen as premature. For a parliamentary statement which should have felt momentous, berating the 154?year?old founding body of the world’s most popular sport, it will be lucky to make the footnotes in a history of the game.

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