Platini Advisor Claims English FA is the ‘Weakest’ in Europe

April 27, 2011

Advisor to UEFA president Michel Platini, William Gaillard has told government officials at a Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry into the governance of soccer, that the Football Association (FA) is ‘weaker’ than its counterparts across Europe.

Gaillard argued that the FA has been overwhelmed by the financial clout and high profile of the professional leagues, stating: “There is no doubt that turf wars have damaged English football. The FA is probably in a weaker spot than any other FA in Europe.”

He added that the ‘overwhelming power’ of the Premier League and Football League had unbalanced the English game, saying: “In other countries, there is a more balanced situation. In most other countries, the professional game has a minority position.

“English professional football has been enormously successful in producing revenues and building up the game and we have to be grateful to the Premier League and Football League for that.

“At the same time this has not resulted in a better situation for English football in general and performances of the national team have not been outstanding.”

Gaillard went on to recommend that England should adopt the football model used in the Netherlands – ‘an excellent grass-roots model’ – continuing: “They should have a full-time technical director – that’s what exists in most other good educational models in Europe.”