Perfect time for the FA to start looking at ex professionals for positions of authority in the wake of the Clarke fiasco

For former players in both the women’s and the men’s game, many are pigeon holed and sent in certain directions when their careers come to an end.

The most obvious options for life after playing are coaching or punditry, which the large majority of ex professionals take.

It is the natural route, but not one that all former stars opt for.

There are tales of former players becoming actors, private detectives and in one case dating app creators.

But you rarely hear of former footballers taking up administrative roles, or ones behind the scenes.

I’m sure there are former players out there who are chairman and chief executives, but you don’t hear about them as much as you do about pundits or coaches.

For me, I think that should change given the latest goings on in the corridors of Wembley and more publicly in commons select committees, as we saw recently.

Last week we saw FA chairman Greg Clarke resign from his position after stereotypical comments regarding South Asian people, while referring to gay players as ‘making a life choice’.

At a time when the FA is pushing so hard for diversity and an end to any sort of abuse, his position was intenable.

I don’t think the argument is down to whether Clarke himself is racist, but to come out with comments as blaise as he did, left him with no other option.

It undermined all the hard work that the association is trying to do.

But his resignation leaves the governing body at a cross roads, with light in one direction and a grey murky cloud in the other.

You always need people who have the know how and background of running organisations and businesses involved within an institution such as the FA.

That I won’t deny, but going through the who’s who at the FA and the make up of the association’s board, not one member is a former professional or someone with experience of having played the game.

Now you don’t need to have played the game to know a lot about it. But it certainly helps.

With the departure of Clarke now set to lead to a wide ranging, diverse process to find its successor, it is hoped that the correct and best candidate comes to the top.

But it would be interesting to see from those who go for the top job at the FA, whether many come from a playing background.

I suspect the percentage would be low.

However, how beneficial would it be to have a smattering of former players who have lived and breathed the game for a 20 year playing career, helping direct our national association.

It happens in other countries but it has never seemed to be the case with the FA.

The FA has all the pathways and courses aimed at progression in other areas of the game.

Coaching badges, agent courses and other qualifications.

Of course you can go to university and study for a sports management degree and progress to the top of the ladder.

But wouldn’t it be great to see a pathway put in place for players to progress to positions of authority within football, such as the head of the FA.

It would be another option for those former players who don’t fancy the rough and tumble of management, or spouting off about their former employers on the box.

It would create another pathway and aid the diversity among the board of the national association.

That may filter down to clubs and you’d have more football people sitting on boards of clubs where fans are disillusioned with the latest businessman takeover.

The comments from Clarke and his subsequent resignation have brought further dark clouds over the national association.

But this presents the governing body with a choice, stay with the status quo or move in a different direction.

I suspect it won’t be the latter.

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