FA chief Mark Bullingham launches defence of under-fire governing body

Mark Bullingham has launched a passionate defence of the Football Association after Greg Clarke resigned in disgrace.

Clarke stood down as chairman after making racist, sexist and homophobic remarks while giving evidence to a Select Committee of MPs.

FA chief executive Bullingham said: “As with many organisations in this country, we are on a journey and have made substantial progress in these areas.

“Our work on the Football Leadership Diversity code has taken many elements of this plan, such as published targets for ethnic and gender diversity, to drive change throughout the game. 

“We have consistently reduced our gender pay gap to be far smaller than many organisations and have a very small ethnicity pay gap.

"We are investing record amounts in the women’s game, which remains one of our top priorities.

“Whilst all of this is progress, we would be the first to accept that we have more to do. 

"We are committed to further progress and will continue to transparently publish our plans and targets.

“We know that football has the power to unite and bring people together.

"We have a clear and focused vision on how we will do that, improving opportunities within football by breaking down barriers so that we have an inclusive game that we can all be proud of.

“We absolutely recognise that there is more work to be done, but our commitment and passion to help improve lives, embrace diversity and create opportunities will remain fundamental to our organisation for years to come.”

Paul Elliott, already chair of the FA's inclusion and advisory panel, is among the favourites to succeed Clarke.

Bullingham added: “With other Board Directors, Peter and I are finalising the process for recruiting a new independent Chair of The FA. Our aim is to have one in place as soon as possible. 

“Our process will be open and conform to the Diversity Code, ensuring that we are able to select the best candidate from a diverse talent pool.”

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