2017 04 21 Retrieve
[Ugo Ehiogu: Former England defender dies after suffering cardiac arrest] He was a hugely popular figure across English football but particularly at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough. He was also close to many at Wembley and St George’s Park through his England connections - both as a player and as a coach
2019 10 16 Retrieve
[England’s players were subjected to racist abuse during Monday night’s 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bulgaria in Sofia] I would like to see a very stringent review by UEFA because I know they take racism very seriously. If we say ‘we’ve got zero tolerance for racism’, one person making monkey chanting noises is the same as 100 - zero tolerance is zero tolerance
2020 04 07 Retrieve
[Greg Clarke says completing campaigns remains the preference in 2019-20] We live in uncertain times and our priority is to support the Government’s public health initiatives. The wellbeing of all of us, and especially our most vulnerable members, must be our focus and the Government’s instructions regarding social distancing are our route to safety.
However, football needs to pay attention to the economic effects of the pandemic as well as rigorously following public health guidance. Football, like many other sectors of the economy has been hit hard by effectively closing down its business. From grassroots through the semi-professional pyramid to the professional game: clubs have closed, games are cancelled, terraces are empty and cash flow has stalled.
Yesterday, Mark Bullingham, the FA Chief Executive, announced the measures the FA Board approved to stabilise our finances given the suspension of the games that drive our revenue streams. The FA is suffering from the severe financial consequences of the pandemic which could be in the range £150 million upwards over the next two years. The pay cuts and furloughing we have implemented buys us time to understand more fully the duration of the lockdown and its economic impact on us.
Returning to the issue of uncertainty, no one knows how long the lock down will last and what social distancing measures will endure even when the daily rate of infection is much reduced. Our Government is rightly cautious as human life is at stake and prudence is our only sensible option.
We are committed to finishing the professional football season as this resolves the issues of promotion and relegation together with title winners 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. Football faces economic challenges beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it. The pandemic will be followed by its economic consequences and all business sectors will suffer. We face the danger of losing clubs and leagues as finances collapse. Many communities could lose the clubs at their heart with little chance of resurrection.
In the face of this unprecedented adversity, all the stakeholders within the game from players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators need to step up and share the pain to keep the game alive. Everyone should understand that the Premier League clubs are not immune from the impact of this and whilst they are impacted to different degrees depending on their cost base, the potential overall financial impact is huge.
We must have a plan to ensure that English football is not decimated should this season be lost and next season blighted. We hope we do not need this plan as we are all determined to finish the professional football season, however we would be fools not to develop such a contingency plan. Those that lost their clubs because English football did not rise to the challenge would rightly judge us harshly.
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. It is time for the stakeholders to agree common cause to save our game. Contribute. Football is a team game and now is the time for teamwork. The FA looks forward to working with all football stakeholders to safeguard the future of our game.
2020 04 08 Retrieve
[FA chairman Greg Clarke admitts on Tuesday that it may not be possible to complete the 2019-20 campaign] We are committed to finishing the professional football season as this resolves the issues of promotion and relegation together with title winners 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
2020 05 04 Retrieve
[Hard to imagine fans at games soon amid coronavirus crisis] It is no secret that domestically, a huge amount of work is taking place to assess whether a restart to the English season will be possible. Whilst we would all like to see football return in the coming weeks, the health of our communities and the protection of the NHS must remain our priority and we will continue to be led by government advice as we work together with stakeholders from across the game to assess any potential restart. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant financial impact on all sectors of society and sadly football is one of many sports to have been affected as a consequence. I want to assure you that we are committed to supporting the game as a whole through this crisis; especially the lower echelons, where the impact has been felt most acutely. We remain in contact with colleagues and stakeholders from across both the national and professional game and will continue to work together to offer support as we look to navigate our way through this difficult period. So far this has taken a host of different forms from advancing payments due, to giving extensive advisory support, to unlocking money from government and other football stakeholders. We have other ideas in the pipeline such as an initiative with the Football Foundation that we will announce next week. Our executive team has been building out different scenarios that we might potentially face as a result of the pandemic. The reality is that we just don’t know how things are going to pan out, but with social distancing in place for some time to come we do face substantial changes to the whole football ecosystem. For example, it’s hard to foresee crowds of fans – who are the lifeblood of the game – returning to matches any time soon.