Dear Gianni, Dear FIFA President,
We hope this letter finds you well.
As you will be aware, the UK government has published their final report regarding the football fan led review of English Football. There is much optimism that the report will be a catalyst for change, that it will help to build a sustainable future for football and enhance the community at the heart of club football. It is imperative that we ensure that the ideas and concepts generated become a reality.
The People’s Football Association was established as a campaign group in June 2020 with the objective of bringing significant change to the governance of English Football (The FA) and ultimately strengthen the governing body. Whilst the UK government report urges the English Football family to make necessary changes, we believe that the outcomes that are required will not occur. For significant change to happen, international outside intervention is required.
As you will be well aware The English Football Association (The FA), is the oldest football association, founded in 1863. The structure of The FA has not changed since the 19th century, it is archaic and no longer fit for purpose. To compound the problems of the English football governing body, it has ceded influence (and control) to The Premier League since 1992. The beginning of the loss of any independence was the setup of the Professional Game Board (PGB) in 2002, which in reality is within the Premier League’s control. This is compounded by the fact that the Premier League fund and govern a number of other entities in the English Football landscape. The Premier League tentacles are everywhere and their influence within the governing body and English Football is deep.
We therefore request that FIFA open an investigation into the governance of The Football Association, as we believe the Premier League control and influence described herein breaches FIFA Statutes (as described below). The Super League episode may have subsided for the time being, however the influence and control of the Premier League over your member association and our governing body continues to increase, which should be a great concern to all.
Often as you will be fully aware it is the member association that appeals to FIFA to intervene in cases of government interference, but here the problem is that The Football Association has been taken over by the Premier League. The lack of Independency ensures The Football Association are unable to ask for help.
This significant and current government intervention in English football may end up being a good or a bad government intervention, but either way it is also clearly in contravention of FIFA Statutes.
We reference the statutes:
14 Member associations’ obligations
to manage their affairs independently and ensure that their own affairs are not influenced by any third parties in accordance with art. 19 of these Statutes;
15 Member associations’
to be independent and avoid any form of political interference
19 Independence of member associations and their bodies
1. Each member association shall manage its affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties. 2. A member association’s bodies shall be either elected or appointed in that association. A member association’s statutes shall provide for a democratic procedure that guarantees the complete independence of the election or appointment.
20 Status of clubs, leagues and other groups of clubs
1. Clubs, leagues or any other groups affiliated to a member association shall be subordinate to and recognised by that member association. The member association’s statutes shall define the scope of authority and the rights and duties of these groups. The statutes and regulations of these groups shall be approved by the member association.
We would therefore suggest as next steps:
Schedule a meeting with yourself and FIFA Management to present the findings and research, in particular The People’s Football Association blueprint of a modern, independent and democratic English Football Association. Details of which can be found at: www.thepeoplesfa.com
FIFA to investigate the above (with further information we will provide under an NDA to FIFA) and subsequently constitute a normalization committee to implement the changes to enable the English Football Association (The FA) to conform to the FIFA statues and reflect a modern, independent and democratic English Football Association for the next 158 years. As you will be very aware: FIFA have the powers to establish “normalisation committees” on member associations that FIFA determines are not complying with the FIFA Statutes.
Out of FIFA’s 211 members, a significant number of associations have recent or current experience of positive normalisation committee intervention – Kuwait, Guinea, Guatemala, Greece, Argentina, Thailand, Mali, Benin, Madagascar, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Comoros, Iraq, Pakistan, Venezuela, Namibia and Trinidad and Tobago and we request England (The FA) receive the normalisation committee intervention.
All FIFA members should be treated equally and even with the resources of The Football Association, FIFA should intervene.
We believe that FIFA should take a special interest in English football’s governance since it gets copied around the world – e.g. breakaway PLs – which leads to many problems in other countries.
We therefore look forward to providing additional private information to help FIFA make the necessary changes and to bring the oldest member association up to date in terms of governance and structure. Our goal is to strengthen the Football Association and for this to happen the support of FIFA is paramount.
Yours in Football,
|Nigel Fletcher, Co-Chair||Mickey Ambrose, Co-Chair|