Under-fire FA chiefs Greg Clarke and Martin Glenn told their jobs safe

Ben Rumsby
The Telegraph
Greg Clarke (left) and Martin Glenn appeared in front of a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday
Greg Clarke (left) and Martin Glenn appeared in front of a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday

Football Association chiefs Greg Clarke and Martin Glenn’s jobs were safe on Thursday night, despite a fresh wave of calls for them to resign or be sacked over the Mark Sampson scandal.

Telegraph Sport has learnt that Clarke, the chairman, and Glenn, the chief executive, have retained the full backing of the FA board in the wake of their car-crash appearance at a parliamentary hearing into one of the biggest crises in the organisation’s history.

The board was expected to convene an emergency teleconference on Thursday night to discuss the fallout from the FA’s public humiliation at the hands of Eni Aluko and the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport select committee. But, it is understood that, unless there are any further damning revelations, Clarke, Glenn, Dan Ashworth, the technical director, and Rachel Brace, the human resources director, will all be given the chance to make amends.

Telegraph Sport has also learnt the second instalment of Aluko’s pay-off from the FA is likely to be released to her following Wednesday’s explosive parliamentary hearing, at which she accused Glenn of “blackmail” – something he denied.

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The aftershocks from that hearing were still being felt on Thursday as:

  • The sports minister called on the governing body to learn lessons from the “sorry saga” to ensure public confidence in its processes, while her shadow all but demanded Clarke and Glenn should go.

  • Members of the DCMS select committee queued up to state Clarke, Glenn, Ashworth and Brace should consider their positions.

  • One member branded Glenn’s position “untenable”, another dubbed the FA an “international embarrassment, while others called for the Government to consider imposing an independent regulator on the FA.

  • The chairman of Kick It Out confirmed that he disputed Clarke’s testimony about his own involvement in the fallout from the Aluko affair, raising the threat of the FA chairman being recalled by parliament.

None of this was set to affect the position of Clarke and Glenn, who the FA board still consider the best people to take the organisation forward, as well as acknowledging securing replacements of their calibre would be extremely difficult.

Directors were nevertheless expected to make it clear Clarke, Glenn, Ashworth and Brace did not show enough contrition or humility at  the select committee hearing.

The Government also refused to call for resignations, with sports minister Tracey Crouch saying: “I hope that the FA learns lessons from this whole sorry saga to ensure that all in the sport and the wider public have faith in their processes and procedures.

“We have been clear that we expect world-leading standards of governance from all our national sports governing bodies.”

Eni Aluko, Clarke and Glenn all spoke to the parliamentary hearing on Wednesday
Eni Aluko, Clarke and Glenn all spoke to the parliamentary hearing on Wednesday

However, Crouch’s shadow, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, said: “It is clear, the leadership of the Football Association is incapable of dealing with allegations of bullying and racism.

“After hearing the evidence put forward and the lack of accountability shown, I have lost confidence in the FA’s leadership team. The senior leadership team at the FA need to have a long, hard look at themselves and the board need to act quickly and decisively to take the FA in a new direction.”

Telegraph Sport spoke to seven members of the the 11-strong DCMS select committee on Thursday, including chairman Damian Collins.

The other six joined him in calling for Clarke, Glenn, Ashworth and Brace to consider their positions.

The SNP’s Brendan O’Hara, who branded their evidence “jaw-droppingly inept” went further, saying: “The reputational damage now is catastrophic and that’s what I was trying to get out of Martin Glenn. I would think his position is untenable.” Labour’s Ian Lucas described their testimony as “a shambles”, adding: “Mr Ashworth and Mr Glenn, in particular, should be looking very closely at their position. I don’t think, yesterday, they gave the impression they thought the position was actually as bad as it is. 

“If they don’t think the position is bad then they are very poor judges and they should really look at their positions.”

Aluko on...
Aluko on...

Conservative Julian Knight also used the word “jaw-dropping” about Wednesday’s session, dubbing the FA “an international embarrassment” that was prone to “monumentally poor decision-making”. He also said the Government should explore imposing an Ofcom-style regulator on the governing body, something with which Labour’s Jo Stevens concurred.

“I’m sorry to say that after hearing yesterday’s evidence, I do not think that it is capable of reforming itself,” she said. “It’s like a cat with nine lives; it’s had so many chances and it simply hasn’t happened.”

Kick It Out chairman Lord Ouseley, meanwhile, said Clarke’s testimony that he “went to see Herman Ouseley” to ask him for advice amid the fallout from the Aluko affair was “absolutely wrong”.

“He didn’t come to see me,” Ouseley told Telegraph Sport, confirming that he nevertheless had given advice to the FA. Clarke had also been accused on Wednesday of giving “false” testimony about the Professional Footballers’ Association.

Stevens warned both disputed comments could see him recalled by parliament, while Collins said: “If the PFA and Herman Ouseley are saying that what Greg said is not true then I would certainly want Greg to clarify to us what happened so the evidence we receive is accurate. The threshold in terms of misleading parliament is normally where someone has put a direct question and they’re given an answer they know not to be true. It may be that Greg Clarke was just mistaken in what he said.”

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