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Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2005, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
What the Burns report says
By Simon Austin

FA
Lord Burns believes his proposals for the restructuring of the Football Association will produce a stronger, more open and better-respected organisation.

Burns, a water company chief, was asked to conduct a review of English football's governing body by the government at the end of 2004, following a year of controversy for the FA.

He has set out to tackle some key problems:

  • Potential conflicts of interests among FA board members
  • An unrepresentative council
  • Lack of confidence in the disciplinary process
  • Too much power being wielded by the Premier League
  • Lack of representation for the grassroots game

    Here is how he has recommended doing so to the FA:


    COUNCIL

    Role: Regulates football matters, including discipline, refereeing and match and competition sanctioning.

    Current composition: 91 members - a chairman, vice presidents, life vice presidents, 10 divisional representatives, 52 county and affiliated associations, five Premier League members, five Football League members and a chief executive.

    Perceived problems: Not representative of the "diverse interests of game". Out of touch. Not separate enough from the board.

    Proposed changes: To become the "Parliament of football". To represent the whole of football, with members including supporters, players, managers, coaches and referees.

    Could be expanded to as many as 110 members, with more coming from the professional and semi-professional games. To oversee the board and approve any changes to rules and regulations.

    The president to be elected by council members for an initial three-year period and then allowed a maximum of two more three-year periods.

    BOARD

    Role: Set up in December 1999 to take charge of the FA's commercial and financial decisions. It has four committees - finance, audit, remuneration and the professional game board.

    Composition: Chair of the council, six representatives of the grassroots game and six representatives of professional game.

    Perceived problems: Conflict of interests - eg someone from a Premier League club deciding on financial issues that could impact on that and other clubs. Premier League seen as having too big an influence. The chairman of the FA (Geoff Thompson) is currently chairman of the council and the board.

    Proposed changes: Composition will change, with three representatives from the professional game and two independent non-executive directors. This should reduce the power of the Premier League. The president will also now be independent.

    RULES AND REGULATIONS

    Current composition: There are five committees responsible for this: Financial Advisory, Sanctions and Registrations, Disciplinary, Leagues, Referees, Competitions.

    Perceived problems: Confidence in the system is not good. There is a lack of clear separation between policy, policing, prosecution, judgement and appeals. And people think decisions are being influenced by board.

    Proposed changes: A new body will be created - the Regulation and Compliance Unit. This is to be much more independent than the existing system. The charging and "judicial" functions of the body will be separated.

    And it will be much more open than the current system, reporting to the Council every 12 months, making presentations and taking questions.

    "DELIVERY" OF FOOTBALL

    Two new bodies will be created:

    Community Football Alliance: Will represent grassroots football, promoting participation in the game. Means grassroots game will be formalised for the first time. The CFA will have its own department at Soho Square.

    Professional Football Alliance: Would be much smaller than the CFA, but would represent the professional game.


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