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EFL: Call for FA governance reforms

13 December 2016

Call for FA governance reforms

The EFL has seen the letter written by Messrs Bernstein, Davies, Dyke, Horne and Triesman to Mr. Damian Collins MP, Chair of the CMS Select Committee, regarding Governance of the FA.

The EFL Board and Executive are already playing a major part in discussions within the professional game as to the necessary changes for the FA to become a more effective Governing Body for football in England and has confidence that the appointment of Greg Clarke as FA Chairman will provide a catalyst for change in this important area.

Separately, EFL has already led the way in governance, embracing significant changes in the past few years including:

+ an increase in the number of non-executive directors to 3 with the appointment of Debbie Jevans to the Board

+ term limits of 2 x 3 years for EFL club elected directors and for non-executive directors

+ a limit of 4 consecutive years for an EFL director to serve on the FA Board

+ age limits for directors

In respect of the letter from the five ex-FA directors, however, it is important for EFL to respond to the remarks made about the role of EFL directors on the FA Board and on EFL’s strategy.

“The EFL’s strategy unduly influences the Championship Clubs eager to access EPL financial advantages”.

For the purpose of providing clarity, the EFL's Articles determine how the EFL’s three divisions are represented within the EFL governance structure, how decisions are taken and how distributable income is allocated. This distribution formula was agreed by the Clubs in 1998 without any input from the Premier League.
Beyond this, the solidarity agreement between the Premier League and the EFL benefits all EFL Clubs, together with the EFL centrally, and is not restricted to Championship Clubs. The value of this contracted relationship is more than £100m per season and the EFL views the Premier League as a friend, not an enemy of the game, as suggested by this letter.

The EFL’s representatives on the FA Board, as two of the four Professional Game Directors, are independent of both Premier League and the National Game. They represent the EFL’s views where appropriate whilst exercising fully their fiduciary duties to the FA. They are committed to working with their colleagues on the FA Board to achieve the changes required for the FA to become an effective Governing Body but for such positive change to be achieved, it will need commitment from all parts of the game, not just from the Professional Game.

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