FA Chairman Greg Clarke has admitted that the organisation had failed England women's players Eniola Aluko, Drew Spence and Lianne Sanderson over its handling of claims of discriminatory remarks made by former England women's manager Mark Sampson. Clarke has also stated that the FA has "lost the trust of the public" over the case.
The chairman gave a 2,628 word speech to the FA council's autumn meeting in Wembley in which he apologised to those listening following the results of the parliamentary inquiry and his appearance before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee.
Clarke assessed last week's inquiry in his speech. He said, "The judgement of the politicians, the judgement of the media, and most importantly the judgement of the public was very clear – we had failed Eniola Aluko, Drew Spence and Lianne Sanderson. We have apologised to them and I reiterate that apology again today."
The chairman judged that the FA had "lost the trust of the public" and pinned the causes down to three characteristics of the organisation. Clarke believes that the FA is perceived to lack competence, diversity, or trust in the talents of its senior players and staff.
He admitted that the FA's 'efforts' of inclusion were not enough, citing that the organisation have an all-white Board and Senior Executive Team and only one BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) Head Coach across the England teams.
Clarke backed this up by stating that according to their own insight tracking, just 27% of football fans think the FA are a competent governing body. Only 24% said that have a positive perception of the FA.
Greg Clarke has now promised change within the FA, starting by conducting a full cultural review of St. George's Park, the FA's national football centre. This will be done with the intention of "improving its inclusivity and our collective care for players. Performance and a positive culture must not be an either or choice."
For Clarke this will be "the FA, doing what it has failed to do in the past, and getting its own house in order – asking itself some fundamental questions to ensure it can be the best organisation it can be – and to begin to restore that lost trust."