Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Bernstein resisting war of words

David Bernstein

New Football Association chairman David Bernstein is happy to resist the temptation of responding to the damning words of his predecessor Lord Triesman.

Triesman launched a stinging condemnation of the FA's interaction with the Premier League during a grilling by the Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Monday, arguing the professional game is now effectively in control of English football.

Rather than offer any knee-jerk reactions, Bernstein will wait before his own appearance in front of the committee at the end of March and said: "It would be awfully tempting to comment on individual things that are said in front of the committee but I am not going to do it."

He added: "We will wait until we have our turn, then we will be free to say what we want to say across the whole state of the views that are given. The FA are fully supportive of, and will fully co-operate with, the select committee.

"There is going to be much evidence and debate over the coming months. We will agree with some of it and disagree with other parts I am sure."

There are clearly issues with the Premier League though; player release for one. However, Bernstein insists common ground can be established too.

"Of course there are natural tensions and areas where there is a pull between club and country. But there is a great feeling of mutuality of interest. There are huge areas of crossover where the good of the national game is to the benefit of everybody," he said.

"I attended a Premier League meeting last week. I had excellent discussions with the executive, particularly Richard Scudamore and also with virtually all of the clubs.

"I know many of them already through previous involvements and I really want to try to focus on the positives where we can."

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