Kick It Out has been urged to sever its funding ties with the Football Association in order to mount a more credible fight against discrimination within football.
The suggestion has come from Manchester United non-executive director Michael Edelson, who also believed United defender Rio Ferdinand could be key to helping the campaign group raise its profile and garner more funding.
There has been massive scrutiny on Kick it Out over the past week after Reading's Jason Roberts announced his intention not to wear one of the organisation's T-shirts ahead of last weekend's matches, a stance he will continue this coming weekend. "Kick it Out is a genuine charity," said Edelson.
Ferdinand then went against the advice of United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to follow suit, with brother Anton doing the same 24 hours later on QPR duty. The furore it caused generated massive debate over the success of Kick It Out's work, and the source of its funding.
They currently receive £110,000 each from the FA, the Premier League and the Professional Footballers Association, with the Premier League bridging a £60,000 funding gap last year.
However, that obvious link has led to accusations Kick It Out is compromised in its dealings with the game's authorities.
And with the Ferdinand brothers calling on Kick It Out to make itself "more relevant" in their statement on Wednesday night, it has been told a different way of funding may be the solution.
Edelson continued: "They employ six people and a non-executive chairman and have done a great job. I can't tell them what to do. But they could uncompromise themselves and start to collect money in the way YMCA or Great Ormond Street or Christie's do it.
"I would say the next stage for Kick It Out is to get its independence from the Football Association and get people on it who are able to lobby organisations.
"Rio has a point. You have to push yourself forward. But the way to do that is to build. Rio is a fantastic role model for everybody. If he was to create a fundraising committee for Kick it Out it would raise millions."
- Sports & Recreation
- the Football Association
- Rio Ferdinand
- Michael Edelson