Does the FA Premier League have power over the Football Association?

The Football Association

The Football Association is the governing body of football for England. The Football Association is tasked with the organisation of football in England, putting in to play the rules which have been handed down by the world governing body of football – FIFA.

What is the main role of the Football Association?

The Football Association has many roles from developing amateur and the youth levels of the game to working with the professional side.

The Football Association is a Member Association of FIFA and consequently is in charge of the England national football team at full level and all England teams at all levels below full international. Currently the Football Association is in charge of 11 England football teams.

The FA Cup is the cup competition in England which is administered and overseen by the Football Association. The Football Association is also in control of Wembley Stadium.

The Premier League

What is the Premier League?

The Football Association Premier League (FAPL) Ltd is the body which runs the top flight of English Football – The Premier League.

It is effectively a commercial entity which runs the league making decisions regarding the commercial side of the game.

What is the main role of the Football Association Premier League Ltd?

The main role of the Football Association Premier is the organisation of the commercial side of one of the most high profile football leagues in the world. For example such commercial decisions as how the television rights for Premier League matches will be sold and how much money clubs will receive when relegated from the league in the form of parachute payments will be made by the FAPL.

One of the biggest commercial contracts that the Football Association Premier League has is with BskyB for the live broadcast of a huge amount of Premier League matches but it also arranges many other high profile deals such as the lead sponsor for the league.

What role does the Football Association play with the FAPL?

The Football Association is the regulatory body for football in England. This means that any decisions taken regarding purely the football side of Premier League matches will rest with the Football Association. For example if a player during a Premier League match commits some kind of disciplinary offence then the sanction will rest solely with the Football Association.

If any new rules are developed by the world governing body (FIFA) such as the possible implementation of goal-line technology, this will be administered and developed by the Football Association for Premier League matches.

Another way in which the two interact is that when the Football Association requires players to represent the England national team for a competitive or friendly international it is a requirement that the Premier League does not schedule any fixtures on this day to enable the players to represent their country.

It is a continual balancing act between the Football Association and the Premier League to ensure that both sides are satisfied.

How is this balancing act achieved?

This balancing act is achieved by having a Football Association Premier League Ltd presence on the board of the Football Association.

Why is this necessary?

This is necessary so that the FA Premier League has some sway with the Football Association as certain commercial interests of the Premier League may be affected by the decisions of the Football Association.

Furthermore, certain commercial decisions taken by the FA Premier League may need the agreement of the Football Association before they can go ahead.

When will this occur?

This occurred in 2009 when the FA Premier League put together a proposal to play a 39th Premier League fixture outside of England. As this change would also have an effect on the Football Association’s functions if it was to go ahead then the Football Association would also have to be in agreement.

In actual fact the Football Association sought to distance themselves from any such notions of this proposal.

Is there often a conflict between the two bodies?

During 2010 there has been much talk of conflict between the two bodies with suggestions that the Premier League is holding too much power and being able to influence certain decisions made by the Football Association.

During 2010 the Chief Executive of the Football Association left his post after only a few months in the job with the main reason reportedly being that he felt he was under too much pressure from the FA Premier League over certain decisions.

How can the FA Premier League have this much sway?

The FA Premier League is an extremely powerful commercial entity. It runs one of the most successful leagues in world football generating huge amounts of income. Consequently it has much sway with many bodies due to its vast amount of money. It has therefore been claimed that this power has led to increased pressure on the Football Association regarding certain decisions.

Do the two bodies not have the same interests – most notably the success of English football?

The two bodies do have the same interests in relation to the success of English football but the Premier League is only concerned with the top flight of the professional game whereas the FA is concerned with all levels of the game, professional and amateur.

Consequently there can be a conflict where the Premier League is looking purely in commercial terms and the Football Association is concerned with maintaining the integrity of the game in England.