Governance issues within the not so “Sweet FA”?

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It would be my own opinion that that Football Association have a long way to go before they can consider closing the Eni Aluko issue from an internal and external perspective. An apology is a start, but could be construed as cheep words when you look at what individuals have been put through?

Eni has stood up and raised issues that could be considered of public concern, and therefore she should have been protected as if she was reporting this through any speak up mechanism. The individual has been taken through the mill and this would not encourage future reporting of malpractice etc.

From my own observations there are three distinct issues that  could be mapped across to any business to learn from;

Recruitment Process

The FA Chairman has admitted there was a lack of background checking done on the coach /manager- imagine if this lack of ‘due diligence’ was fostered in football at grass roots level then this would be considered highly inappropriate. If we look at the world of big corporations, which includes the FA, then it is inexcusable that background checks are not being undertaken. How many more checks have not been undertaken in this organisation? A basic risk assessment of a business would ask what is the screening and recruitment policy.

Governance Procedures

The Chairman hit out at the Players Football Association Governance Procedures and commented about the FA’s own Governance saying he is committed (future tense) to improving the FA’s Governance “if every time something bad happens at the FA, we sack the guy in charge well never have anybody in charge”  There is a distinction in taking the right and measured action and sacking someone if the disciplinary action is supported by sound Governance.  The overall comments regarding Governance do not bode well, and the credibility of individuals in high ranking positions should be/have been challenged. The idea that systemic failures have been acknowledged, displays poor culture from the top and the middle which again could/may have been identified through appropriate independent reviews or assessments.

The investigation

The credibility of the initial investigation was also questioned and from the outside the fact this potentially should have been treated as a speak up matter, would beg the question whether an independent case should have been undertaken without any internal influence. This would have again supported the FA from a Governance point of view and those contracted would have had to speak up to the investigation team as witnesses.

As with the FA, you would hope that a business can learn from these issues well before the reputation is brought in front of the media.


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