Sunday, April 01, 2012

Government proposes merger of three major Sports bodies


Football Association, England Cricket Board and Rugby Football Union under one Supremo

1st April 2012sport-england-91

It has emerged today that Jeremy Hunt, Minister for Sport and Culture, has secured agreement from the Prime Minister and Cabinet colleagues to legislate to combine the administration of England’s three main team sports, Football, Cricket and Rugby, under a single body to be called the England Sports Association. Sources close to Mr Hunt revealed that the Government has been troubled by the “dysfunctional behaviour” of the FA, ECB and RFU and has decided that only tighter Government control and a single organisation can solve the problems. Lord Sebastian Coe is being touted as the likely new Sports Supremo once the London 2012 games are over.

It is understood that the final straw in the dissatisfaction of the Coalition with the maladministration of English sport came when Dave Richards, a senior figure in English football, fell into a fountain after ranting against Football’s international government bodies. This followed revelations of chaos at the top at the Rugby Football Union and continued rumblings about the England and Wales Cricket Board in the light of the jailing of Allen Stanford.

It is believed that Hunt sees that efficiencies can be made by the ESA being formed as a business having one Board of Directors  and management team. “Really all sports need the same sense of discretion and the issues they manage are broadly the same” said a spokesman. “There is also great scope for sharing assets – why not play T20 cricket at Wembley or Rugby Union at Old Trafford?”.

When the Olympic Games is over Lord Coe will be looking for a new challenge and his close links, as a former Conservative MP, with the Party make him a shoe in for the Supremo job. Commenting on the plans the Prime Minister is understood to have said “I’m sure that Seb Coe, despite not living in Oxfordshire, would do a good job and this proposal, which has my full support, is very true to the Conservative values of thrift, efficiency and jobs for the boys.”

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