Bernstein says 'outdated' FA must reform

Roy Hodgson and David Bernstein

Problems within the Football Association could affect the next England manager, says its former chairman David Bernstein.

The ex-Manchester City chief, 73, believes the FA’s structure is “outmoded” and must be modernised.

“We have a massive problem at the centre of English football,” he told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek.

“If we don’t address it, whatever manager is appointed will come in with great hope but go out disappointed.”

Bernstein stepped down as chairman of the FA in 2013 after three years in the role and was succeeded by Greg Dyke, 69, who left the post last month.

“I am talking about an outmoded structure, which is not modern enough or independent enough and it frustrates the executives within the FA,” Bernstein added.

“This is compounded greatly by the success of the Premier League. We have no balance in our game.”

A report from the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee in 2013 called for reforms in English football – and outlined concerns including financial management as well as the balance of power between the Premier League.

Describing the FA as incapable of reforming itself, Bernstein added: “It needs the government to appoint a regulator to go in there and sort the place out.

“We talk about reforming the FA Cup, doing away with replays – but do we talk about reducing the size of the Premier League? The Premier League would come down to 18 clubs to have less matches to maybe take pressure of players, but we don’t hear that.”

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A panel of three – chief executive Martin Glenn, director of elite development Dan Ashworth and vice-chairman David Gill – will search for a successor to Roy Hodgson, who resigned as England manager following the country’s humiliating last-16 exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of minnows Iceland.

“If they can consult widely within football, and this is a football appointment, I would not stretch too much outside football,” said Bernstein.

“They are three sensible people and hopefully they should come to the right conclusion. It may be doomed if we don’t deal with the central issue.”

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