The FA has revealed Greg Dyke will take over as chairman of the Football Association from July.

Dyke’s business background and football passion stands him in good stead for the role, but he has a lot to do if the game’s governing body in the UK is to regain any sense of respect among players and fans. A lot.

Former BBC director general Dyke is a football fan and current Brentford FC chairman. But he has an uphill struggle to win back faith in the FA, twice described as not fit for purpose in the last week by former Liverpool CEO Rick Pary and by Newcastle FC. 

Current head David Bernstein took over after England spectacularly failed to win hosting rights to the 2018 World Cup, and had to deal with the nastiness surrounding the John Terry race row and England coach Fabio Capello’s exit from the then cack-handedly run ship littered full of holes.

Dyke is fortunate that he will join at a time of comparative calm, but the issues he has to contend with are equally as prominent if not as front-page friendly. 

Firstly, he must continue to curtail the Premier League’s foolhardy and, depending on your viewpoint, unfair, financial rules. Clubs must spend based on their income.

A fairer, more stable competition would result. Encouragingly, Dyke’s said he is a “big fan of financial fair play”, but proving the Premier League is the world’s best will be far trickier. 

The Premiership is the most widely known, but the best? In 2008, three of the last four teams in the Champions League were from the Premier League (Man Utd beat Barcelona, too). This year, none made it to the quarter finals. Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger said it was “a wake up call” and it’s one Dyke must heed.

Equally so the perception of the FA as ineffectual and indecisive – it’s decision not to punish Wigan’s Callum McManaman for an ugly tackle on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara last week (for which he was not even booked during the match) merely compounded its public image as a cowardly bystander. 

Tackling these will be Dyke’s chief responsibility. Let’s hope he is fit for purpose. 

Agree or disagree? Does the FA need shaking up?


F1 whining will win lewis nothing

One race into the new season and Lewis Hamilton has already thrown in the towel.OK, he hasn’t quite.

After qualifying third and finishing fifth in the opening Grand Prix in Australia, Lewis said of his new team, Mercedes: “I’m aiming for consistency but in terms of performance we don’t have that pure speed to compete for the title.”

So why not overcome your mechanical shortcomings with the verve and skill of racing? Formula 1 is not a straight track. Unrealistic, you say?

Switching to Mercedes for this year was widely debated by pundits and fans. Was he moving to win the title? Did he simply want more money?

Whatever your thoughts, this naturally driven racer is not normally known for his passivity and enjoyment of crossing the line second. But it wasn’t Red Bull or Ferrari that won in Melbourne, it was Lotus. So stop being realistic Lewis, and go for the title.


Photo: Getty