Wednesday 8 February 2017 9:45 am

"I will have failed": Football Association chairman Greg Clarke offers to resign if he doesn't reform organisation

Football Association chairman Greg Clarke says he will step down from his role if he fails to "deliver real change" to the under-fire organisation.

Ahead of Thursday's House of Commons debate on a motion of no confidence in the FA, Clarke said he had already begun a process to improve its governance.

The Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee last week revealed that the FA had failed to demonstrate its willingness to comply with guidance on sports governance issued by the government last October.

Read more: MPs summon Football Association chiefs following allegations of corruption in English game

Up to £40m of public funding given to the FA could be withdrawn if it is judged to be incapable of change.

Clarke "strongly disputes" the motion, but has conceded his organisation — which has been beset by crises of corruption and child abuse within football since his arrival last year — has problems to fix.

"This week we have another challenge — a perennial one it seems for football — as the FA's governance will be debated in Parliament on Thursday," he said.

"Our governance needs changing. We do need to be more diverse, more open about decision-making and we do need to better represent those playing the game."

The former Football League chairman and director of Leicester City defended the FA's record in investing in grassroots football, but said he will step down if he cannot deliver governance reform within its structure.

"Delivering real change is my responsibility and I firmly believe this is critical for the future of the game," said Clarke. 

"If the government is not supportive of the changes when they are presented in the coming months, I will take personal responsibility for that. I will have failed. I will be accountable for that failure and would in due course step down from my role."

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