Football

Dame Heather Rabbatts is frustrated by the failure of proposed FA reforms.

Heather Rabbatts questions chances of reform at Football Association

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Heather Rabbatts is "questioning" whether she can still help bring about reforms to the Football Association after the latest proposals were blocked.

FA chairman Greg Dyke, who will leave his role after this summer's European Championship, had submitted proposals aimed at reforming the FA council by making it more representative and diverse.

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Dyke was pushing for an end to the traditional 'blazers' who dominate the council, with more women, more fans' representation, more people from ethnic minorities and possibly term limits to reduce the average age.

But the proposals were never even put to the vote due to opposition from representatives of the national game which Rabbatts - the only woman and ethnic minority representative on the FA board - said would have watered them down to the extent it was not worth voting on them.

She told the Guardian: "It's very disappointing, it's very frustrating and it leads you to question what you can do to shift it.

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"With regards to inclusion and diversity, you can make things happen because you can bring other people with you. When you feel you can't make that progress elsewhere, it's very difficult.

"The path of governance reform is littered with people who have tried and failed."

The FA board is made up of four representatives apiece from the professional and national game plus chairman Dyke, chief executive Martin Glenn and non-executive directors Rabbatts and Roger Devlin.

Rabbatts continued: "The problem with the structure is that it builds in an accountability to either the national game or the professional game and not to the whole.

"How do we actually construct something that furthers the game as a whole? It is that structural defect that is fundamental.

"Look at UEFA, look at FIFA, look at athletics, look at cycling. Everybody is looking at how they improve their governance. If you have people sat around those tables for 15, 20, 25 years, you are building in a problem. That has to change."

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