Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Scudamore supports reform

Richard Scudamore
Richard Scudamore

Chief executive Richard Scudamore maintains the Premier League are duty bound to support reforms of the national game.

A report by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee into the future of football is set to be published next week. The inquiry listened to evidence from the likes of Football Association chairman Lord Triesman and former chief executive Ian Watmore, who highlighted the often difficult relationship between the governing body and the Premier League.

Writing in the Premier League's new review of the season, distributed to MPs and peers, Scudamore feels the process has "provided an overall backdrop of negativity", but insists the national game is far from "broken, irreparably damaged and in need of saving".

Scudamore said: "That is an analysis of the game to which I cannot subscribe.

"Clearly there are issues that need addressing. This has always been the case in football and probably always will be, but anyone who takes time to consider what is going right, rather than starting from the position of what is wrong, will surely realise that there are many more reasons to be upbeat than downcast.

"Clearly, and by its own admission, the FA needs to address some structural issues that are no secret, as well as create a focus that means they can improve in their key areas of responsibility - the national teams, coach development and grassroots investment.

"However, the Premier League is a crucial part of the association of interests that make up the FA and we have a duty to constructively engage with and support the processes already under way aimed at creating an organisation that can represent the best of English football at every level."

Scudamore also revealed the Premier League hoped to be able to implement goalline technology for the 2012-13 season.

"The whole point of the game is about scoring goals. Players strain every sinew to either create or deny them, fans shout themselves hoarse exhorting their teams to score them, managers' and players' careers can be defined by them," he said.

"The technology is available, it is the fairness that is important and the Premier League would introduce it tomorrow if it could. Now FIFA is constructively engaged we are hopeful the 2012-13 season is a realistic aim."

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