Culture secretary warns FA it will lose government funding if it fails to reform
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Culture secretary warns FA it will lose government funding if it fails to reform

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The football Association (FA) will lose all its government funding if it fails to undertake significant governance reforms, according to culture secretary John Whittingdale.

Whittingdale said he was “disappointed” that the football governing body had “rejected the opportunity to reform their outdated and unrepresentative governance model” and would move all taxpayer and National Lottery funding to other organisations if no progress was made.

Talking at the Telegraph Business of Sport Conference 2016, the Conservative MP for Maldon added: “We will look instead to root money for grassroots football to other organisations that will adhere to good governance.”

He revealed that the government will be writing to the FA to warn it over its future conduct, adding that failure to adhere to “certain minimum standards” was a “betrayal of athletes and the public alike”.

The FA’s current funding deal with Sport England – the quango which funds grassroots sport on behalf of the government with taxpayer funds and National Lottery money – has seen the organisation receive around £30m (US$43.3m, €40m) over the four-year funding cycle (2013-2017), which it mainly invests in grassroots facilities, alongside funds from the Premier League and Football Foundation.

Greg Dyke, the current FA chair, announced his decision to step down from the role earlier this year, citing opposition from the FA Council to implement reforms which would improve the diversity at the top end of the governing body.

The Council has been criticised in the past for its lack of transparency and diversity, while the FA board only has one figure who is not a white male – Heather Rabbatts.

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The Football Association (FA) will lose all its government funding if it fails to undertake significant governance reforms, according to culture secretary John Whittingdale.
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