All eyes on the government these days on both sides of the Pond, and that includes a Parliamentary debate on Thursday on a motion of no confidence in the English Football Association. That motion passed, for what it’s worth, though it carries no actual power with it. (Ostensibly, it does put pressure on those who have power to make changes, but who knows.)
MPs have passed vote of no confidence in the FA - there were around 17 MPs there, and it has no legal force. Sports minister was opposed.— David Conn (@david_conn) February 9, 2017
In case you’re wondering, there are 650 ministers in the House of Commons, which gives a turnout of a little over 2.5% for this historic occasion. You can read more about what the vote may or may not mean over at the BBC.
In slightly more interesting but no less head-scratching news, during the same debate, our good friend MP Bob Blackman, of Harrow East, upped the ante in his one-man fight against using Wembley for more football matches.
Previously, he had only complained that matchday traffic turns his constituency into a parking lot, which, fair enough, sounds like a valid issue potentially and is along similar lines to Twickenham’s objections (though theirs involved more bodily fluids).
But on Thursday, Blackman, who’s supposedly a Spurs season ticket holder, has asserted that using Wembley for more football matches would be tantamount to straight up abuse of the stadium. Abuse! Won’t somebody think of the
children poor little football stadium that’s barely used as it is! Please stop abusing the football stadium with more football!
“Wembley Stadium has always been our national stadium. It is the shrine we go to for FA Cup finals, League Cup finals, internationals and other events. However it is now being transformed, not only for Tottenham to play there for a year but potentially for Chelsea to play there for three years for their home matches.”
“That to me is wrong because it’s abusing our national stadium, which should be kept for those all-important matches that fans want to come and see. If it’s turned into a stadium which clubs will use for a potentially four year period or longer I think that’s an abuse of our national stadium and we shouldn’t be allowing it.”
-Bob Blackman, Harrow East MP; source: Evening Standard
Blackman then goes on to slag off the FA, calling them amateurs in “high-finance” and just the worst, in general.
Last month, the FA had submitted a request to Brent Council to allow more full capacity matches at Wembley once Spurs and then Chelsea move in, presumably so that all involved could make more money, which the FA plan on reinvesting in grassroots football. Current regulations cap Wembley use at 37 matches for full capacity (including England games and Cup finals); anything beyond that would have to be played at a reduced 50,000 seating arrangement.