Dyke 'surprised' by criticism

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has responded to Heather Rabbatts' criticism of his newly-appointed commission aimed at improving English football.

Last Updated: 24/10/13 at 10:07 Post Comment

Greg Dyke: Responded to Heather Rabbatts

Greg Dyke: Responded to Heather Rabbatts

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Rabbatts, the only female member of the FA board, said the all-white, all-male nature of the commission means "the opportunity to lead an informed debate on the future of English players has been singularly damaged" and that a "refusal to understand" her position forced her to go public with her concerns.

Dyke has now responded to her letter - a copy of which was obtained by Sky Sport News - and revealed that the Commission was originally intended to include black former footballer Clark Carlisle.

And the Government have also now entered the row with new sports minister Helen Grant due to speak to the FA next week to express her concerns about the maek-up of the commission.

Grant said: "Sports governing bodies must reflect the make-up of the diverse society that we live in. I expect the FA to ensure that voices from all backgrounds are heard loud and clear and contribute to this important piece of work to help strengthen English football."

in a letter to Rabbatts, Dyke wrote: "I recognise your strength of feeling on this issue but I am sorry that you felt that you had to make your concerns public.

"Personally, as the instigator and organiser of the Commission, I was surprised by your comments as they seem to imply that somehow we have got to where we are because of a lack of understanding in the area of diversity.

"Only two weeks ago you and I discussed ways of making organisations take their responsibilities in this area more seriously - we both agreed we want action not ineffectual policy papers on race - and in my brief time at the FA I have met with both Herman Ouseley, the Chairman of Kick it Out, and Trevor Phillips, the former Chair of the Equalities Commission, to discuss overall policy in this area. It is an area I have long cared about.

"The make up of the Commission has been moving for some time but I did explain to you and the Board that we planned to appoint two or three additional members and would have done so this week had the issue of Roy Hodgson's dressing room comments not blown up.

"I do accept we made a mistake announcing only part of the membership of the Commission when we did, but to suggest we never considered the ethnic balance of the Commission is unfair. We originally had Clarke Carlisle as a member but the PFA decided they would rather have their new Chairman on the Commission, and we also identified other individuals from the BAME community who we felt would add strength and value to the Commission.

"Unfortunately as they are active in football on a day to day basis either they felt the time commitments would be prohibitive. As you know we still want to see people with relevant experience from the BAME community on the Commission and giving evidence to it.

"The aim of the Commission is two-fold. The first is to try to strengthen the England team going forward.

"The second is to ensure that talented English kids, whatever their ethnicity or creed, are able to fulfil their potential to play at the highest level in English football, something which currently we are not sure is happening. If we can make some progress towards achieving both these aims it will have done a good job."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Leyton Orient part company with sporting director Mauro Milanese

League One club Leyton Orient have parted company with sporting director Mauro Milanese, according to Sky sources.

Cambridge United chairman Dave Doggett to invest money from Manchester United tie in improving stadium

Cambridge United chairman Dave Doggett will invest revenue from the FA Cup replay at Manchester United in the stadium.

Capital One Cup: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho tells players to refocus

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is urging his players to forget their FA Cup exit to Bradford and focus on Liverpool.

Mail Box

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

Appalling, Slow, Pathetic, Embarrassing

It's a bonus Saturday Mailbox, with plenty of reaction to the most alarming 0-0 draw in Manchester United's recent history. At what point do we worry about Louis van Gaal?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company