Greg Clarke Resignation Doesn't Solve the Deeper Problem
Posted: Thu, 12 Nov 2020 09:45
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has resigned over the "unacceptable" language he used when referring to black players.
Clarke said he was "deeply saddened" for the offence he had caused by using the term "coloured footballers".
The comments came as he was talking about the racist abuse of players by trolls on social media to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee via video link.
Here we go again in football. Once again it looks like despite the £millions and the glitz and drama the sport looks like its administration is stuck in the 1970s. We know many good people who work in parts of the football infrastructure and this is an unfair characterisation. But at the same time they would be the first to admit privately the views expressed by Clarke are sadly not an isolated case.
The views expressed by Clarke should be consigned to the dustbin of history.
At the Think Tank we do not exist to be cheer leaders for the sports sector. We believe at its best the power of sport can be used for personal and social good. But when it gets it wrong it needs to be called out. This is one of those times again.
We try to stay out of football. We believe there is too much coverage of this one sport already, but we also understand why it dominates debate. So when politicians talk about sports governance they are usually referring to another mess in football. During Covid much of the debate has been dominated by the Premier League and how the lower leagues are looked after as part of the football family.
There are so many issues to tackle in the game and Clarkes wider comments highlighted them.. racism, sexism for a start!
There are no easy wins here. But the resignation is s start. It signals that this behaviour is no longer acceptable. The next Chair needs to be willing to take the FA into a different place and be single minded about it. For the sake of football and the reputation of all sports!