You will be unsurprised, Mr Speaker, to learn that I have had several discussions with the Football Association on this subject. As recently as Monday, I spoke to the chairman, Greg Clarke, and I was clear that I wanted reform and that the clear mechanism for achieving that is through compliance with the new code of governance for sport, which was published in October.
I have always been a great admirer of the Minister’s optimism, especially when we played on the same five-a-side team. Unfortunately, her optimism about the future of the FA is not shared by three of its previous chairmen, who said earlier this week that legislation was needed to address the deficiencies in the organisation. Will she therefore give an undertaking that, before the end of April, she will come to the House either to announce her agreement with the FA about future governance arrangements, or with proposals for legislation?
On the five-a-side pitch, it was never optimism, just skill.
I assure the hon. Gentleman that I take this matter incredibly seriously. We believe that the FA has heard the warnings from all parts of the House and all levels in Parliament that it needs to reform quickly. We strongly believe that the incentive of removing public funding will achieve that. I would be happy to update the House on progress in April.