FA Chairman warns of casualties

The FA’s chairman Greg Clarke has reiterated the association’s commitment to finishing the league season, but advised it will continue to follow public health guidance.

Football, like many other sectors of the economy has been hard hit by the sudden arrival of coronavirus and subsequent postponement of league seasons.

Clubs have been closed, staff put on furlough, pay cuts have been taken, terraces are empty and cash flow has stalled. All of the above applies to most Kent teams, but Clarke stressed that even Premier League clubs are not immune from the affects of the virus.

In his statement on Tuesday he said: “Our government is rightly cautious as human life is at stake and prudence is the only sensible option.

“We are committed to finishing the professional football season as this resolves the issues of promotion and relegation on merit. However, we may not be able to finish the season as football is not our priority, human life is, and we will do as the government directs as the pandemic unfolds.

“Further down the football pyramid our leagues have requested that the season is curtailed and that decision rests with the FA Council.”

The National League is taking specialist legal advice before deciding how it will resolve the issue of promotion and relegation having suspended the league season indefinitely.

Clarke went on to warn that clubs could be lost as finances collapse and called on all stakeholders – players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators to take ‘their share of the pain’ to keep the game alive.

“We must have a plan to ensure that English football is not decimated should this season be lost and the next season blighted,” he said.

“We hope we do not need this plan as we are determined to finish the professional football season, however, we would be fools not to develop a contingency plan.

“Time is pressing as football burns through its cash reserves with no sign yet of a resumption of the game. Pointing fingers serves no purpose. Football is a team game and now is the time for teamwork.”

The FA Council were also involved in an online meeting to discuss the state of affairs in Non-League football at Steps 3-7 and whether to null and void the season. Each member has been asked to vote electronically on what they feel is the correct decision with a result expected next week.

Here is a list of the FA Council members.

Chairman and Leader of Council
G Clarke

Vice-Chairmen (Professional Game & National Game)
P McCormick OBE (Professional Game)
J Pearce (National Game)

Life / Senior Vice Presidents (12 – all non-voting)
G Thompson, OBE, JP, Sheffield & Hallamshire FA
L F J Smith, Surrey FA
RE Barston, Leicestershire & Rutland FA
JJ Waterall, Nottinghamshire FA
PS Hough, Dorset FA
FLJ Hunter, Liverpool FA
D Henson, Devon FA
B Walden, Northamptonshire FA
C J Saunders, Independent Schools FA
M M Armstrong, Huntingdonshire FA
C B Taylor, Barnsley FC
PR Barnes, Dagenham & Redbridge FC

Vice Presidents (6 – 4 x non-voting)
B J Adshead
R F Burden
MR Leggett
P Clayton
J Little (Voting)
Sue Hough (Voting)

Representatives of The FA Premier League (6)
P McCormick OBE (Premier League)
P Barber (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)
J Mostyn (Bournemouth FC)
R Caplehorn (Tottenham Hotspur FC)
P Alexander (Crystal Palace FC)
R Britain (Manchester Utd FC)

Representatives of The English Football League (6)
Steve Curwood (Fleetwood Town FC)
Rick Parry (EFL)
John Nixon (Carlisle Utd FC)
Cliff Crown (Brentford FC)
Martyn Starnes (Bristol Rovers FC)
M Ashton (Bristol City FC)

Jointly Appointed Representative of the EFL and Premier League
R Bains

Divisional Representatives (10)
Division 1 D Robinson Tow Law Town FC
Division 2 R Coar Blackburn Rovers FC
Division 3 A Shaw Altrincham FC
Division 4 F Robinson Burton Albion FC
Division 5 S Pearce Derby County FC
Division 6 A Neville Leicester City FC
Division 7 S Webb Ipswich Town FC
Division 8 C Reeves Poole Town FC
Division 9 A Sharpe Wingate & Finchley FC
Division 10 JD Pearce Bognor Regis Town FC

County Association Representatives (43)
Bedfordshire R Robinson
Berks & Bucks L Verrall
Birmingham M J Penn
Cambridgeshire R Pawley
Cheshire C Garlick
Cornwall G Lee
Cumberland G Turrell
Derbyshire F McArdle
Devon T Sampson
Dorset S Whittle
Durham JC Topping
East Riding J Suddards
Essex A Berry
Gloucestershire R Schafer
Hampshire N Cassar
Herefordshire P Tompkins
Hertfordshire P Mallett
Huntingdonshire MC Frost
Kent PCB Smith
Lancashire S Gerrard
Leicestershire & Rutland K Ellis
Lincolnshire RC Jackson
Liverpool D Horlick
London G Dorling
Manchester C Bridgford
Middlesex J Taylor
Norfolk G Lemmon
North Riding WL Scott
Northamptonshire R Cotter
Northumberland J Ackerley
Nottinghamshire Ms E Oram
Oxfordshire I Mason
Sheffield & Hallamshire U Rennie
Shropshire D Simpson
Somerset & Avon AP Hockley
Staffordshire M Stokes
Suffolk B Badcock
Surrey N Drew
Sussex A J Kybett
West Riding B Chaplin
Westmorland P Ducksbury
Wiltshire RJ Gardiner
Worcestershire R Northall

Affiliated Organisations (8)
The League Managers’ Association A Irvine
The Professional Footballers Association G Taylor OBE
The Referees’ Association D Crick
The National League (2) M Tattersall & B Barwick
The Northern Premier League M Harris
The Southern League A Hughes
The Isthmian League N Robinson

Other Football Associations (10)
The University of Oxford Football Association R Tur
The University of Cambridge FA Dr J A Little
The Army Football Association Major WTE Thomson
The Royal Navy Football Association S Johnson
The Royal Air Force Football Association Wg Cdr N Hope MBE
The Amateur Football Alliance J Leese
The Women’s Football Conference (2) S Hough MBE & Mr T Win
The English Schools’ Football Association M Spinks
The Independent Schools’ Football Association D R Elleray MBE

Supporters’ Representatives (2)
Dr M Clarke (NG)
T Greatrex (PG)

Disability Football Representative (2)
C Chaytors
D Clarke

Inclusion Representatives (1)
R Akhtar (NG)

British Universities College Sport
R Allen

Association of Colleges
J Maher

FA Youth Council
C Berrevoets

BAME football communities (2)
TBC
W Haq (NG)

National League System Steps 5 and 6
D Morrall

Futsal
G Dell

Women’s Super League / Women’s Championship
TBC

1 woman nominated by National Game members and selected by the National Game’s Main Board Directors
S Walters

Chief Executive Officer
M Bullingham

Independent Non-Executive Directors of The FA Board (2)
S Cartwright
K Tinsley

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