FA Board Backs CEO Martin Glenn, Chair Greg Clarke To Keep Their Jobs
The FA board backed CEO Martin Glenn and Chair Greg Clarke to keep their jobs "despite the crisis that has flared up over the flawed investigation into the racist abuse" of Eniola Aluko, according to Hughes, Ziegler & Rudd of the LONDON TIMES. Glenn and Clarke "are facing increased pressure to quit" after calls from, among others, Labour’s shadow sports minister for them to go, while former England player Ian Wright called for "radical change." However, a meeting of the FA board held via conference call "agreed that the pair should remain in their posts, though they will be questioned" about the "sorry saga" at a scheduled directors’ meeting next month. Glenn "in particular is under pressure" after Aluko accused him at a parliamentary hearing of actions "bordering on blackmail" to make her state that the organization was "not institutionally racist" before she would be paid the second tranche of her £80,000 ($105,400) settlement. Several FA board members "are understood to have expressed the view that Clarke and Glenn should have demonstrated more humility and been more generous in the apologies" they offered to Aluko. There "is also some sympathy for a pair who have had to deal with an unprecedented number of crises during their time in office," including the child abuse scandal, safeguarding issues and the sacking of two England managers (LONDON TIMES, 10/19).
'NOT ENOUGH': The SUNDAY TIMES reported former FA board member Heather Rabbatts said that Dan Ashworth’s position as technical director of the FA is "untenable." Ashworth, Clarke and Glenn "are under scrutiny after three inquiries were needed" to establish that former England women's team Manager Mark Sampson "made discriminatory comments" toward Aluko and teammate Drew Spence. Ashworth was responsible for the appointment of Sampson "and is also set to lead the search for his permanent successor to lead the Lionesses." Rabbatts, who stood down from her position at the FA in June, "does not believe that should be allowed to happen" and said that Ashworth had allowed a "monoculture" to develop at the national training base at St. George's Park. She said, "He has been there since 2012, these issues have been raised -- a lack of diversity, a lack of black coaches, the issue of Mark Sampson and Eni, these have all happened. This is about professional judgement. It's not that he [Ashworth] hasn't tried, but that's not enough" (SUNDAY TIMES, 10/22).
A CLOSER LOOK: In London, Jonathan Northcroft reported football initiation ceremonies and the brutal "blooding" of young players "are being investigated by the inquiry into sex abuse in the English game." One case, involving an alleged sexual assault at Stoke City in the '80s, is being scrutinized by the lawyer leading the review, Clive Sheldon QC. He "is keen to establish" whether offenses took place there and at other clubs -- "and how managers and officials reacted to any complaints." The case involved George Blackstock, a then 16-year-old apprentice, who claims to have been dragged "kicking and screaming" to the first-team dressing room where, he alleges, "Ralgex was smeared on a goalkeeping glove which Peter Fox, the Stoke keeper, inserted up his backside" (SUNDAY TIMES, 10/22).