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FA chairman to be grilled by MPs

Press Association logoPress Association 4/10/2016 Matt Slater

A panel of MPs will grill new Football Association chairman Greg Clarke on October 17 after last week's corruption allegations in the Daily Telegraph raised fresh concerns about the game's governance.

A 10-month undercover investigation by the newspaper produced a number of allegations about the transfer market and has already led to Sam Allardyce losing his job as England manager.

Joining Clarke in front of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee will be the FA's director of governance and regulation Darren Bailey and the pair should expect a tough session.

A statement from the 10-strong, cross-party committee said: "Recent events have highlighted the continuing major failings in the current system of football governance in the UK, as well as internationally.

"The Culture, Media and Sport Committee has repeatedly urged the football authorities to improve self-governance.

"Although the committee's recommendations have been backed by successive sports ministers and progress has been promised by the FA, in practice very little has changed: the governance of football is cumbersome, and power lies with the clubs, especially in the Premier League.

"Real reform in relation to the ownership of clubs, transfers of players, the influence of fans, the role of agents and investment in the grassroots-amongst other issues-has stalled."

The statement added that the FA is "very unlikely" to comply with the government's new requirements for any sports body that receives state funding. These reforms, which will ask governing bodies to meet 'gold standards' for governance, will be formally introduced later this year.

Any organisation that fails to meet these standards could find itself cut off from the next round of funding intended for grassroots sport. In the FA's case, this adds up to PS30m ($A50 m) a year.

The CMS committee, led by the likes of Conservative MP Damian Collins and Scottish National Party MP John Nicolson, has developed a reputation for giving sports administrators a tough ride and there is no mistaking the widespread frustration felt across Westminster at the FA's inability to reform itself over the last decade.

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