LincSport talks

This week LincSport is discussing the Greg Dyke’s committee.

The question is, “Has Heather Rabbetts open criticism discredited Greg Dyke’s committee to solve English football?

greg dyke
Greg Dyke's committee has come under heavy scrutiny this week. Photo: StripeyAnne (via Flickr)

Edward Seaman

I do not believe that she has. There is a wide acknowledgement in English football that there is a need for change and in particular Greg Dyke’s commission to help bring about the change.

The percentage of foreign stars in the Premier League is not acceptable and at a level which has a detrimental effect to the national side, especially since the founding of the Premier League. The matter is not a racial; it is purely about how to improve English football and how to get more of the bright young English talent playing in the Premier League to help the national side.

The commission, with Rio Ferdinand and Roy Hodgson now included, has a wide range of current and ex-players and managers from all walks of football to help work out how to help young players to become professionals and help develop the senior national squad.

Luke Vials

I think it certainly has discredited what Dyke is trying to achieve with the commission. Not only that but this is the second time in a week a story has come out which has embarrassed the FA (the first being the Townsend/Hodgson ‘space monkey’ incident). The FA at the moment already has a poor public image due to all sorts of issues ranging from the Suarez/Terry incidents to national side managerial appointments and when members of your own organisation publicly criticise you then it totally discredits the aim of the committee.

I do actually believe that Rabbatts has a very valid point when questioning the lack of ethnic minority members on the panel and it is something that I’m sure will be addressed by Dyke but in my opinion it would have been much more professional for Rabbatts to go directly to Dyke with these concerns rather than allowing the worlds press to use her opinion to again make the people who run our national game a laughing stock. When members of your own organisation are criticising one another in public it simply makes the whole institution look unprofessional and if anything hinders the overall aim of this commission which is to improve the quality and quantity of the game by improving standards of coaching and players throughout the game. Keep it in house people!!! 

Nathan Hill

The true aims of this commission are to make sure that the fortunes and success of the English national team improve by allowing our young home-grown players to fulfil their potential. Undeniably, this isn’t happening right now. Therefore, Dyke has to appoint the right people to the commission who are most likely to help him achieve these aims. Whilst Dyke himself has admitted that he has made a mistake in choosing only white males thus far, I don’t believe it has damaged the credibility of the overall commission. This is a football matter at the end of the day, not a racial matter. Whilst having a more ethnically diverse board would be a good idea, using a form of positive discrimination to ensure that all races are represented at all costs is not (as that’s effectively what Rabbatts is advocating).

For her, it’s seemingly more important to have a board which has representatives from as many ethnic backgrounds as possible than to have a board that knows best how to tackle the problems which it faces (solving English football). Those who are appointed, regardless of their ethnicity or gender, must have the required knowledge and ability or otherwise it’s a waste of time. Therefore Rabbatts’ comments (in my opinion) have only made a very minimal impact in discrediting the commission. Her comments are more of an attack on Dyke and his recruitment policy rather than an all out criticism of the commission. 

Daniel Baker

Her comments have not discredited the committee in my opinion. Having said that, Rabbatt’s concern about the lack of representation from other ethnic backgrounds is understandable but there are some credible members on the committee such as Dario Gradi, who has developed young players at Crewe.

It shouldn’t be about backgrounds anyway as the purpose of the committee is to solve English football with people who can bring something to the table. I’m all in favour of having members who from other different ethnic backgrounds and the addition of Rio Ferdinand is a positive one in terms of his knowledge. 

Jon Ashby – The Linc Deputy News Editor

In my opinion, there are two sides to this discussion. To echo what Nathan Hill said, you have to question whether Rabbatts is calling for a more ethnically diverse board for the sake of diversity, rather than for the actual benefit of the commission. With examples such as the Rooney Rule in the NFL (where NFL teams are required to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions), it seems that in today’s society, employers are forced to consider people from an ethnic background for the sake of avoiding potential racism, rather than making an appointment based solely upon a candidate’s skill set.

On the other side of the coin however, one of the main objectives of the commission is to “ensure that talented English kids, whatever their ethnicity or creed, are able to play at the highest level in English football.” To do this, it’s important that the committee has knowledge of the various ethnic backgrounds around the country, and what is preventing kids from an ethnic background from playing football. With this in mind, a more ethnically diverse commission could have a broader knowledge than an all white commission, and the appointment of Rio Ferdinand to the commission could well be an important one moving forward.

Overall, I think Rabbatts’ comments had the potential to discredit the commission; however the appointment of Ferdinand just a day after Rabbatts’ criticisms were made will have gone some way to soften the blow. Why Rabbatts chose to make her criticisms public, and why she chose the week in which the FA has already had to bat off racism allegations, is another matter.

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