League Calls For 'enhanced' Input Into Future Fa Structure

The Football League, in its submission to the Structural Review of the Football Association, has called for the future make-up of the FA to more accurately reflect the contribution to the game made by its 72 clubs.

League Chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney called the proposals "genuinely innovative" as he revealed the details of The League's submission at a press conference in London.  Mawhinney said: "The Football League is the largest league in the world in terms of number of clubs and attendances through gates. We think our input to the overall structure of football should be more enhanced than it is at the moment.

"Two of our proposals are genuinely innovative. We believe Lord Burns should produce a report that embraces the concept of devolution as far as possible. Put simply operating responsibility should be delegated to those who actually do the operating as far as that can be achieved.  There are lots of things which we can shape that would be beneficial to our clubs if we had the ability to do so."

The League's submission also calls for the National Game (all football below The Football League) to become an entity in its own right, much like the Premier League and The Football League.

Mawhinney explained: "The Premier League and The Football League have their own separate identity, their own separate organisations, own separate management. The National Game is diffuse in that it does not have that separate identity . We believe that it would be to the advantage of the National Game and to the relationships between the National Game and the other main stakeholder bodies if they were constituted as a separate entity in the way the other two are.

"That would bring a lot of clarity to relationships. At present it's hard to know where responsibility lies and that makes it difficult to make decisions."

The League's Chairman also called for more transparency over financial arrangements: "We also think it would make a lot of sense for the FA Board to take the FA income and allocate it to each of the stakeholders" he said, "Therefore at the beginning of the year there would be a budget for the FA and a budget for each of the three stakeholders."

Mawhinney concluded: ""English football is in good shape and is watched and admired by millions around the globe.  We welcome, though, this opportunity to review the structure of the Football Association and will play an active part in considering the Burns Report once it has been published.

"This review is a great opportunity to clarify and strengthen the administrative and management structures that support football in this country - so that they can be as effective as possible in dealing with the pressures of the modern game.

"In our view the future structure of the Football Association should offer an equitable balance between all the constituent parts of English football.  This would allow the game to move forward together, at all levels, with the crucial support of the fans."