The move to include former England international Rio Ferdinand and current England manager Roy Hodgson on the commission established by Greg Dyke to look into the practices of English football has been met with a lukewarm reception by Heather Rabbatts, the FA board member who criticised the panel, the
Rabbatts is the only female and non-white executive and refused to offer her support to the commission because of its all-white, all-male make-up. Dyke originally named eight members of the panel and had planned to include two more, with Ferdinand and Hodgson always the likely members, but Rabbatts is not convinced enough steps have been taken. In turn, in light of Rabbatts’ further criticism, Dyke is believed to be considering adding another member – but Rabbatts wants to know who.
She said in a statement: “While I can appreciate the appointment of Roy and Rio and, of course, welcome a degree of diversity, there are still questions which remain about the work and role of the FA commission.
“Like many who have spoken out, I want to see the commission be successful in its mission to strengthen the future talent pool for the England team. However, the issue of real diversity, and the insight that can bring, is still not fully resolved nor are the exact terms of reference of the commission and the continued absence of the Premier League from its membership.
“Greg Dyke was right to say that this project was the FA’s flagship for the future wellbeing of our national team and it is essential that it is overseen by a body that is truly credible and has the trust and confidence of the whole of football. This is still not the case – today’s announcement is a start but there is a lot more work to do.”
Dyke admitted he should have consulted with the FA board before announcing the members of the commission – who include Dario Gradi, Danny Mills, Glenn Hoddle and representatives of the LMA and Football League – and it is understood Dyke and Rabbatts have had a telephone conversation to attempt to iron out their differences.
Rabbatts was formerly chief executive of the London borough of Lambeth, a governor of the BBC between 1999 and 2001 – and has a relationship with Dyke dating back to then – and also executive deputy chair of Millwall, being appointed executive chair of Millwall Holdings in 2006.
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