SPORT: GOVERNANCE - motion to take note

4 December 2014: Lord Moynihan moved that this House takes note of the governance of sport, both nationally and internationally.

during the debate ....

Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Lab): My Lords, I am delighted to congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, on securing this debate, which is turning out to be a highlight of the parliamentary calendar. I particularly congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Brady, on her maiden speech. I shall say more about West Ham in a moment, if she does not mind. I should declare an interest as a vice-president of the Football Conference, and share with the House the knowledge that I shall be spending Sunday in Scunthorpe with Worcester City in its FA Cup tie. It is not a club that often gets mentioned in your Lordships’ Chamber, and this is a good opportunity to do so, because the team is enjoying an exceptional season.

Following the powerful speeches of my noble friend Lord Triesman, in particular, and the noble Lords, Lord Birt and Lord Horam, I wonder if I may put one or two practical questions to the Minister about the governance of football in England and the Government’s attitude towards the FA. Is he satisfied with the progress that the FA has made in implementing the changes that the Minister for Sport demanded in his response to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee report in July 2011? The Sports Minister, Hugh Robertson, said then that the FA had until 29 February 2012—he called it an “absolute deadline”—to make the necessary changes to tackle debt levels, “to overhaul its board and bring in a new licensing system for clubs”. May I ask the Minister what has happened to the parliamentary Bill which, according to the Guardian in May last year, “would seek to enable the transformation of the FA into a modern governing body”, and which, according to the report, parliamentary counsel had been instructed to prepare?

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