Sports Minister Tracey Crouch warned Greg Clarke risked playing "Russian Roulette" with £30-40m
Just 24 of the 650 MPs were in at the start of the debate into the governance of football in this country and that number had dwindled to around 17 by the time an informal verbal vote was called at 5pm.
Although the motion was carried it has no legislative power and both Sports Minister Tracey Crouch and her Labour shadow Rosena Allin-Khan abstained.
The former had warned, however, that FA chairman Greg Clarke risked playing “Russian Roulette” with £30-40million public funding if improvements were not made when she concludes her own report in a few weeks’ time.
FA chairman Greg Clarke has promised to resign if the FA are found wanting
Clarke has promised to resign if the FA are found wanting and after the debate reiterated: “We remain committed to reforming governance to the agreed timescale of the Minister.”
Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee chairman Damian Collins led yesterday’s debate after five recent FA executives wrote an open letter late last year asking for Government intervention.
“We believe now that legislation is the only way in which reform can be delivered,” he told the House. “The turkeys won’t vote for Christmas, there has to be external pressure and external action through legislation to achieve it.
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“If the Government is unsuccessful in getting reform from the FA, I ask that a Bill is prepared to be introduced into the next session of Parliament to deliver the reform the FA so badly needs.”
The lack of diversity is a particular concern with Labour MP Keith Vaz adding: “A quarter of all professional footballers are black, however only 17 of the 92 top clubs have an ethnic minority person in a senior coaching role.
“We must send out a message that diversity should be an important part of any reform.”