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Life President
May 29, 2005
The country is in a deep recession, masses remain unemployed, the National Health Service is understaffed and immigration is spiralling out of control. Forget all of that, The FA are not doing what they're told!

Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe took precious time out of his schedule of claiming expenses this morning to slam the FA, Premier League and Football League for their lack of key development. Because, you know, we haven't won a World Cup in a while presumably.

While questioning whether or not the three major governing bodies can actually work together, the majority of criticism stems from a lack of progress made in implementing recommendations made to the Football Association in the Burns report, which hit in 2005. The sole purpose of the report was to make the Association a "stronger, more transparent organisation" and to build on key areas of development, such as women's football and youth development.

Praise was, admittedly, reserved for the progress the national team has recently made, but the stinging criticism will not sit well with the management at FA Towers. Already forced out of their lavish Soho Square HQ in a cost-cutting exercise, much of the FA's impetus of the last decade has been to get the new Wembley Stadium up and running. The vast, exterior sources of finance from Wembley would then source other progressions. This wasn't helped by Wembley running massively over-schedule and over-budget, costing the FA millions, added onto a couple of sackings and severance payments.

To put it bluntly, the FA are broke, much like the rest of us. Of course, the FA would love to pledge millions into youth development, honing the vast arrays of talent this country has to offer. Obviously, coaching standards would improve if the FA could make education cheaper and more widely available whilst supplying a Coaching Academy for those that show potential... And I doubt Women's Football would go unnoticed if the FA credit card hadn't been confiscated by the Hole in the Wall. We'll ignore the fact that the government are threatening to exacerbate the problem further by withdrawing the £25m pledged for grass roots expansion because they wouldn't be that stupid... would they?

In a stunning turn of events, Sutcliffe's outrage comes at a time when English football isn't actually doing that bad at all. The national team have qualified for next years World Cup with ease, the Under-21's reached the final of the European Championships, a feat matched by their female counterparts. Regardless of the fact those pesky Germans thwarted the pair of them, great moves are being made in all areas.

The FA responded by merely stating that they were "looking forward to receiving the letter and studying it carefully." It won't happen, but I'd love for their response to be a two finger salute.