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Gary Neville leads calls for FA overhaul as part of plan to save English game

Gary Neville is leading major calls for the Football Association to be overhauled because it is longer fit for purpose.

Former England defender Neville is part of an eight strong body which says the FA “lacks credibility and is largely ineffective.”

Former FA chairman David Bernstein and FA executive David Davies are also on board and their document – Saving The Beautiful Game: Manifesto For Change – wants to see the Government step in and appoint an independent regulatory body to run the game.

Neville, co-owner of Salford City and a hugely respected Sky pundit, said: “We know the FA is the governing body of the game but we know where the power base is.

"It’s with the Premier League and the FA in some ways have got both hands tied behind their backs.

“We have to be careful with the FA and what they can achieve for the whole of football if they don’t have the money. The money sits with the Premier League. So that’s in defence of the FA.

“However, the FA has failed to reform in an acceptable way for however many years, I don’t know how many chairmen, chief executives, how many reviews, Government interventions and there’s been so many different things in the past 20 or 30 years.

“The FA is stuck. They’re stuck because they’ve got no money, they’re stuck because they’ve got no power and they’re stuck because they can’t reform their structure which enables them to be more agile and relevant.

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"It’s an organisation which needs intervention.

“I don’t know anyone who thinks the FA is a bad organisation in terms of spirit and heart.

"But it’s not a modern organisation, it’s not invested enough in, it’s responsible for grass roots football but with a fraction of the earnings of the Premier League.

“We are in a situation whereby the FA is a perfect example from having an independent regulator would benefit the FA. Grassroots football, investment into coaching, investment into the England team.

“The reality is the FA on’t have the power to act in a way they ordinarily would. However, if they had the power and investment I’m not sure they would deal with it correctly either.

"I think they are a perfect example as to why independent regulation is required.”

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