Premier League running the England football team - Legal Issues

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 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 Football Association and the England national football team

One of the main functions of the Football Association is in relation to the England national football team. It is the job of the Football Association to appoint the England head coach or manager and organise friendly matches for the England national team amongst many other aspects of the running of the team.

When players are playing for the England national football team they are representing England through the Football Association.

It is not just the full national football team which is run by the Football Association. All of the other England football teams below the full side which are dependent on age are also run by the Football Association.

How many England teams are run by the Football Association?

The Football Association runs a total of 11 England football teams including the full England national team.

The Football Association Premier League

What is the Football Association Premier League?

The Football Association Premier League is the body which administers the top division of English football – the FA Premier League.

All of the organisation of the league will be administered by this body, for example the fixture list, the selling of broadcasting rights and parachute payments to teams that have been relegated.

Does the Football Association work alongside the FA Premier League?

The Football Association and the FA Premier League work alongside each other in relation to certain issues involved with the English game. For example if a Premier League player has committed a certain offence during a Premier League match they will be provided with a suspension. This suspension and any appeal procedure will be administered by the Football Association.

Does the FA Premier League only run the top division of English football?

The FA Premier League only runs the top division of English football – the Premier League. The lower professional divisions are administered by the Football League.

Which divisions are administered by the Football League?

The following divisions below the Premier League are administered by the Football League:

  • The Championship
  • League One
  • League Two

Does the Football League work in conjunction with the Football Association?

In a similar fashion as it does with the FA Premier League, the Football Association works in conjunction with the Football League.

So the Football Association is the only body which deals with all levels of the professional game in England?

The Football Association is therefore the only body which deals with all levels of the professional game in England.

Have there been suggestions that the Premier League should take over the running of the England national football team?

There have been recent suggestions from the chairman of one of the Premier League clubs that the England national football team should be run by the Premier League and not the Football Association.

What was the reason for this suggestion?

This claim has been made due to the various internal problems with the Football Association. Currently the Football Association has so many committee members that when meetings are held to make decisions regarding certain aspects of professional football they are attended by more than 70 members.

The Football Association in its function of administering all levels of the game in England including the amateur level often means that committee members who have no experience of the professional game are involved in making decisions regarding the professional game.

It is claimed as the FA Premier League and the Football League are concerned solely with the professional game then they will be in the best position to make decisions regarding the professional game – including decisions regarding the national team.

Does the Football Association currently have problems with its internal structure?

The Football Association does currently have internal problems. In March 2010 the CEO was to resign being the 7th to do so in 11 years. This highlights the continual power struggle which is being experienced within the Football Association.

Would it work legally for the Premier League to run the England national team?

The way football is structured in terms of the world game is that the world governing body – FIFA – oversees the organisation of the entire sport. Within FIFA there is a number of Member Associations, of which the Football Association is one.

What is a Member Association?

Within the structure of FIFA all Member Associations have voting rights and are able to vote on such decisions as the new FIFA president etc. A FIFA Member Association is effectively the national governing body for football in a particular country.

When a country plays in an international competition such as the World Cup they are doing so on behalf of the Member Association.

It is therefore part of FIFA rules that a Member Association administers the national football team which plays on its behalf.

If the FA Premier League was to take over the running of the England national team it would require a complete overhaul of the current FIFA rules.

What would be a better solution?

The main reason behind the proposal is to ensure that the body overseeing the national team has experience of the professional game and does not enable individual’s with no experience of this to have a say in the running of the team.

Therefore an overhaul of the internal structure of the Football Association to ensure that this aim is achieved may be a more desirable position.

This may involve some collaboration with the Premier League but this should not require the removal of the national team from the Football Association.