FA revolt over name change

2 April 2019

Sir David Richards, FA
Photo: Getty Images Sir Dave Richards, a former Premier-League chairman and FA vice president who sits on the council, is in opposition to change the name of FA the English FA.

The Football Association is facing a rebellion from its own board over plans for a name change.

The proposal to change name is an attempt to alter perceptions of arrogance, but the plan was not recognised by the board.

Peter Høyer ph@offthepitch.com

FA is facing a revolt from its own board over plans to change its name for the first time in 155 years. Chairman Greg Clarke proposed changing the association’s name to the English Football Association, but his proposal was reportedly rejected by the board. 

In a meeting last week, the idea went down badly with many on the ten-strong board, which has the power of veto, The Times reported. 

Sir Dave Richards, a former Premier-League chairman and FA vice president who sits on the council, said to The Times: 

“I can’t see why they want to call it the English FA when it is known around the world as the FA. It’s known as the FA because it was the first to be formed.”

Clarke’s pitch to the board was that adopting the title EFA would dispel perceptions of arrogance from their international counterparts - a well-intentioned move that contains elements of self-interest given that the FA is in the process of preparing a bid to host the 2030 World Cup. 

According to The Times, much of the feedback from the FA’s failed 2018 World Cup bid centred on England’s perceived sense of entitlement as the inventors of the game - an impression Clarke has spent much of the past few years trying to correct by visiting many of the 211 FIFA members to build bridges.