FA set to vote on historic reform plan at Wembley AGM

18 May 2017 07:54

The Football Association is set to confirm the biggest changes in how it is run in decades when 1,100 shareholders gather for the annual general meeting at Wembley on Thursday.

This means the governing body will still be able to receive public funding for grassroots projects and bids to host events.

The plan to add at least three women to a streamlined board, revamp the council and introduce term limits has already been backed by the board and council, the sport's so-called parliament.

Championed by FA chairman Greg Clarke, the reforms now only need the support of at least 75 per cent of the shareholders, on a show of hands.

Most of the shareholders represent the amateur game, so it is possible some opposition will be voiced for the first time, but the fact the council has unanimously supported the reforms makes it unlikely they will be rejected.

Clarke's consensual approach has been key to the FA reaching this point, which is considerably further than any of his recent predecessors have got, but credit must be shared with sports minister Tracey Crouch for linking reform to funding.

From November, any organisation that wants support from funding agencies Sport England or UK Sport must meet a new governance code.

The FA received £30million from Sport England between 2013-17 and would lose about £15million of that - as grants to governing bodies have fallen and it has already been given £5.6million for disability football and the women's game - if it fails to make its decision-making more accountable and diverse.

Clarke has said he would quit if the FA fails to meet the code and t he size of this task was illustrated in February when the House of Commons passed a "no confidence" vote in the FA's ability to reform itself.

The main proposals are for the board to be reduced from 12 members to 10, with three of those positions reserved for women by 2018 - Dame Heather Rabbatts is the only woman on the current board.

Eleven new members will be added to the council to bring in more black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) members, more women and a louder voice for disability football and fans.

All council members will have to be active members of the organisations they represent, ending the creation of senior vice-presidents and life vice-presidents, who will also lose voting rights. And term limits of three three-year stints will also be introduced for board and council members.

Source: PA

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