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Hundreds of FA roles to go in brutal belt-tightening exercise

Chief executive says that football has not 'weathered the storm' despite top-flight return

FA STAFF have been stunned by a redundancy programme that chairman Greg Clarke warns will affect every part of the organisation.

The English governing body said yesterday that it’s been forced to act against a projected deficit of £300 million over the next four years, which has emerged due to the coronavirus crisis.

Overall the FA is axing 124 positions, with 42 cuts made by halting recruitment and 82 by sacking those in post. It says it will set out its proposals on how to achieve the vast reduction in head count in consultation with staff, while it was not immediately clear which departments the cuts would come from.

Reports also suggest that there may be further belt-tightening measures to follow.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham says the loss of revenue will force it to focus on its “key priorities.”

“All areas of the FA will be affected,” Clarke added.

“We need to save £75m a year and we’ve got a £300m potential hole to fill over the next four years.”

Bullingham described the FA’s core functions as being able to “regulate and serve English football” and to support the men’s and women’s teams in their efforts to win major tournaments.

“That means we have set out in our proposals some difficult choices because we do not think we can afford to do all the things that we did before,” he said.

FA staff earning £50,000 or more, including England manager Gareth Southgate, have already taken pay cuts of up to 30 per cent during the pandemic — with furlough a contingency plan — as Bullingham committed in April “to doing everything we can to support and protect” FA workers.

But the organisation has already lost significant revenue since the shutdown of the English professional game in March and already knows it will not receive revenue from the customary concerts in August or NFL matches in October.

“It might seem that football has weathered the storm by getting the top-flight men’s game playing again,” Bullingham said.

“However, unfortunately, the past few months have impacted the FA severely and we have lost a significant amount of money that we can never recoup.”

He said it was important to act now, claiming it would remove the need to repeat this exercise next year even in the FA’s worst-case scenario.

It is also understood that the FA will not be taking advantage of a loan from Fifa under the world governing body’s Covid-19 relief plan.

Associations are able to borrow up to $5m (just over £4m) interest-free to cope with losses caused by the pandemic.

All national associations will also be granted $1.5m (£1.2m) by Fifa, with $500,000 (£400,000) of that ring-fenced for women’s and girls’ football.


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