EPL’s Richards Backed by Bernstein, Refutes Triesman Claims

By Community | February 10, 2011

Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards has rejected suggestions that he bullied members of the Football Association board into blocking reforms after former Football Association (FA) chairman Lord Triesman spoke out against his old Premier League counterpart.

In an interview with ESPN, Richards stated: “Bully the 12 people on the FA board? Absolutely not. What a futile accusation.

“I am not a bully. I, nor the Premier League, block any change at the FA. We would not block change because we want change – we are a progressive organisation and I was personally involved in changing the constitution of the FA back in 1996 to form the board capable of being progressive.”

He added: “The FA is in control of football’s governance, football’s regulations and of football’s discipline, and that is how it should be.

“If the FA wants to run the professional game – the leagues and the Premier League – then of course we all have a problem because the Premier League won’t tolerate that kind of interference and we will fight our corner.

“I attend the FA board meetings about once a month, and I am one man’s opinion among a board of 12. But I am entitled to my opinion as a representative of the Premier League.

“For good or bad, I speak my mind and being a Yorkshireman, I might not be as eloquent at speaking as some, but I say it as I see it.”

Triesman’s permanent successor, David Bernstein was ratified in his role as FA chairman last month and has supported Richards since joining the organisation, stating: “There’s a mutuality of interest where the good of the national game is in all interests. Sir Dave Richards has been extremely co-operative.”

Bernstein added: “When I spoke to the FA Council two weeks ago I presented five main themes, one of which was relationships. It is very important to work and improve relationships in and out of the UK.”

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