FA Chairman Greg Dyke Under Pressure To Add Female Member To 'Flawed' Commission
Outgoing Professional Footballers' Association Chair Clarke Carlisle said the FA commission set up to improve the fortunes of the England national team is "fundamentally flawed" because of its "elite" nature, according to the BBC. Carlisle said, "These are all guys that we know. These are all guys that have been doing it for 20 years. Where's the new ideas? Where's the new blood? And where's the representation for sectors of the industry that aren't elite?" FA Chair Greg Dyke defended the make-up of the panel after Heather Rabbatts -- the FA's only female board member -- "made her concerns public." All 10 members "are male, and the panel was all-white" until ManU defender Rio Ferdinand was added alongside England Manager Roy Hodgson on Sunday (BBC, 10/23).
CALL FOR EQUALITY: In London, Owen Gibson wrote new Sports Minister Helen Grant suggested that "there should be a female presence" on the FA's "controversial commission." Grant: "All governing bodies and commissions of this nature should seek to reflect the make-up of the society it purports to represent. I know the contribution women can make and I've met many fantastic women as a lawyer and a politician. We'll have to see what happens" (GUARDIAN, 10/23). Also in London, Ben Rumbsy wrote the government has put pressure on Dyke "to add a woman to his English football commission" after Grant revealed that "she had held showdown talks with the under-fire Football Association chairman." Grant confirmed that Dyke "planned to approach more people to join his beleaguered panel" -- despite having previously said it would feature no more than 10 names -- and called for them "to better reflect the make-up of society" (TELEGRAPH, 10/23).
UNDER CRITICISM: Also in London, Marina Hyde wrote on the GUARDIAN's Talking Sport blog, "Dyke does not strike me as the sort of chap to lavish much of his week on the shrink's chair, but were he so inclined, I imagine it would not be awfully long before his analyst was helping him toward a grasp of the psychological ironies of his placing his faith in a commission of inquiry." Short of "putting Lord Hutton in charge of his pet project, Greg could scarcely have made a more revealing choice, and the fact that the commission is already being cast as a footballing establishment stitch-up or a whitewash or a long-grass exercise or some combination of the above can surely not come as the most enormous of surprises" (GUARDIAN, 10/23).