Here at FSF HQ we were flicking through the morning’s papers and stumbled upon an intriguing piece in the ever-lovable Daily Mail by everyone’s 27th favourite diarist Charlie Sale, who has been having a pop at our esteemed chair, Malcolm Clarke. Someone’s obviously been twisting his ear.
A little background first. Malcolm joined the FA Council in September 2007 along with representatives from the Professional Footballers Association and League Managers Association. All three groups were long overdue a place on the FA Council which had been running for more than 140 years without supporter representation. Although the army, navy, air force, and Oxbridge universities have always had their representatives, we’re sure you’ll be relieved to know!
Anyway, as Charlie points out, some (not all, we hasten to add) FA Council members are a little uncomfortable that Malcolm has a point of view.
“Clarke, a council new boy following the Burns Report recommendations, asked for FA advice on council protocol. He was told to keep his head down for a couple of meetings. Instead he was on his feet laying down the law after five minutes - and he hasn't stopped since,” says Charlie.
We’d question Charlie’s definition of “new boy” – Malcolm’s been on the FA Council for almost two years now – but nevertheless would like to thank him for this crucial piece of investigative journalism.
In the past two years Malcolm has spoken out at FA Council meetings against Gam£ 39, pro-diversity (of the FA Council’s 120-odd members only four people are not white males), for greater financial transparency in the game, and argued that we should protect playing fields for the next generation.
Charlie really should let us know which of these issues he finds tedious and we’ll ask Malcolm never to mention them again. We even popped him an email to say as much but never heard back.
We’re sure our 145,000 members will find it shocking that the FSF chair would have the temerity to represent and give voice to their views – it’s not like he’s elected to do just that, is it?
This astounding nugget of information has come as a hammer blow to the FSF who fully expected Malcolm to sit in absolute silence for at least five years on the FA Council. Maybe in the sixth year he could ask for Charlie’s mobile number to have a bit of a gossip.
We salute you Comrade Sale!