LONDON: Sports minister Tracey Crouch has warned the Football Association it could stand to lose government funding if it does not reform.
New governance codes are currently being worked on between the government and national governing bodies of sports in the United Kingdom, with new public funding rounds beginning next year.
However, the FA has for years resisted Ministers’ pressure to streamline its governance structure – an approach which has run directly counter to its own demands for reform in world governing body FIFA.
Crouch, on BBC Radio’s Sportsweek, suggested funding could be sent directly county football associations who had accepted the need to change.
She said: “We’ve made it clear that all sports governing bodies have to reform their governance codes. The FA is not excluded from that and, if they don’t, they won’t get public funding. It’s as simple as that.
“I could not be more clear about how I want to see governing bodies perform. The FA gets between £30 and £40million of funding and that can go elsewhere.”
Crouch, a qualified FA coach, said she wanted to maintain support for grassroots football so could consider sidestepping the FA.
She added: “I’m not shy to say to the FA ‘if you don’t reform your governance structures, I will give that money to other bodies that deliver football.’
“That can include county FAs if they have reformed governance structures at county level; I will take it away from the centre and give it to the counties – at the end of the day, public money goes to growing football.
“I think it is really important that public money goes into the grassroots of the game; I want to see continued investment in football but it has to be done in line with proper reforms at the top.
“New public funding rounds begin in 2017 so I want to see progress happen very quickly – I appreciate reforming an entire structure is not going to happen overnight but if the direction of travel is in the right place then they may well continue to get their funding.
“If there’s no move whatsoever, and at the moment we are seeing nothing from the FA in terms of progress, they are likely to lose some public money or it will go elsewhere in the delivery of football.”