The Football Association

The Football Association

National football association

Founded = 1863
FIFA affiliation = 1905
Region = UEFA
Region affiliation = 1954
Patron = Her Majesty The Queen
President = Prince William of Wales
Coach = Fabio Capello ("Men")
Hope Powell ("Women")
Chief Executive = Brian Barwick

The Football Association, also known as simply The FA, is the governing body of football in England and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The FA has a unique place in the history of football.


The FA is a member of UEFA and FIFA, and holds a permanent seat on the International Football Association Board (IFAB). Unlike other national football associations, it does not take the national name (ie. English) in its title (compared to the Scottish Football Association, for example).

All of England's professional football clubs are members of the Football Association. The FA is responsible for the appointment of the management of the England men's and women's national teams and the organization of the FA Cup (the nation's most prestigious cup competition). Although it does not run the day-to-day operations of the country's top league, the Premier League, it has veto power over the appointment of the league Chairman and Chief Executive and over any changes to league rules. [cite web | url = | title = The Premier League and Other Football Bodies | publisher=Premier League |accessdate = 2007-05-17] The Football League, England's second tier league, consisting of The Championship, League One and League Two, is self-governing.

The game is controlled at the local level, by 43 County Football Associations affiliated to The Football Association but with responsibilities for organising and running football activities in their area. The Jersey, Guernsey, and Isle of Man Football Associations are organised as County Football Associations below the FA. [cite web |url= |title=The Regional Structure |accessdate=2007-09-19 | website ] A hierarchy of leagues operates throughout the game, each taking responsibility for the administration of their own activities, such as membership, fixtures and registrations.

The FA owns and runs both Wembley Stadium and the National Football Centre (The National Football Centre is currently under construction with a target for completion set for 2010).


Before the first meeting of the Football Association in the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London on 26 October 1863, there were no universally accepted rules for the playing of the game of football. However, a set of rules known as the Cambridge Rules had been devised and published by members of Cambridge University in 1848 and had been in use for some time: these were used to form the basis of the Football Association rules. A different set of rules, the Sheffield Rules, had been in use by a number of clubs in the North of England since the 1850s and these were also subsumed into the official Football Association rules.

The founding members present at the first meeting were Barnes, Civil Service, Crusaders, Forest of Leytonstone (later to become Wanderers) , N.N. (No Names) Club (Kilburn), the original Crystal Palace, Blackheath, Kensington School, Percival House (Blackheath), Surbiton and Blackheath Proprietary School; Charterhouse sent their captain, B.F. Hartshorne, but declined the offer to join. Many of these clubs are now defunct or play rugby union.

Central to the creation of the Football Association and modern football was Ebenezer Cobb Morley. He was a founding member of the Football Association in 1862. In 1863, as captain of the Mortlake-based club, he wrote to "Bell's Life" newspaper proposing a governing body for the sport that led to the first meeting at the Freemason's Tavern that created the FA. He was the FA's first secretary (1863-6) and its second president (1867-74) and drafted the Laws of football that determine the way the game is played today across the globe at his home in Barnes, London. As a player, he played in the first ever match in 1863. He is, therefore, considered the father of Association Football.

The first revision of the rules for the modern game was drawn up over a series of six meetings held in the social room of the public house from October till December. At the final meeting, F. M. Campbell, the first FA treasurer, and the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting, the first which allowed for the running with the ball in hand and the second, obstructing such a run by hacking (kicking an opponent in the shins), tripping and holding. Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA but instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The term "soccer" dates back to this split to refer to football played under the "association" rules.

An inaugural game using the new FA rules was initially scheduled for Battersea Park on 2 January 1864, but enthusiastic members of the FA couldn't wait for the new year and an experimental game was played at Mortlake on 19 December 1863 between Morley's Barnes team and their neighbours Richmond (who were not members of the FA), ending in a goalless draw. The Richmond side were obviously unimpressed by the new rules in practice because they subsequently helped form the Rugby Football Union in 1871. The Battersea Park game was postponed for a week and the first exhibition game using FA rules was played there on Saturday 9 January 1864. The members of the opposing teams for this game were chosen by the President of the FA (A. Pember) and the Secretary (E. C. Morley) and included many well-known footballers of the day.


The FA's main commercial asset is its ownership of the rights to England internationals and the FA Cup. Turnover for the year ending 31 December, 2007 was £237.9 million. [ [ FA 2007 Report and Financial Statements] ] The FA owns the new Wembley Stadium, which opened in 2006, via its subsidiary Wembley National Stadium Limited. For the 4 seasons from 2008 to 2012, the FA has secured £425 million from ITV and Setanta for England and FA Cup games domestic television rights, a 42% increase over the previous contract, and £145 million for overseas television rights, up 272% on the £39 million received for the previous four-year period. [ [,17033,8652_2838917,00.html New Deals Sweet for FA] , "", 31 October 2007.]

The FA's income does not include the turnover of English football clubs, which are independent businesses. As well as running its own operations the FA chooses five charities each year to which it gives considerable financial support. [ [] ] [ [] ]

In November 2007, Radio 5 Live estimated the cost to the FA of non-qualification for Euro 2008 to be in the direct region of £5million, with loss of revenue to the UK economy likely to run into the billions.


The FA also runs several competitions:
* FA Premier League
* FA Cup
* FA Trophy
* FA Vase
* FA Women's Cup
* FA Women's Premier League Cup
* FA Youth Cup
* FA Sunday Cup
* FA County Youth Cup
* FA Community Shield
* FA National League System Cup
* FA Futsal Cup


The FA has a figurehead President, since 1939 always a member of the British Royal Family. The Chairman of the FA has overall responsibility for policy. Traditionally this person rose through the ranks of the FA's committee structure (e.g. by holding posts such a the chairmanship of a county football association). In 2008 the politician Lord Triesman was appointed as the FA's first "independent chairman", that is the first from outside the football hierarchy. The day to day head of the FA was known as the Secretary until 1989, when the job title was changed to Chief Executive.

Main Board

*Chairman: Lord Triesman
*Vice-Chairman & Kent FA: Barry Bright +
*Chief Executive: Brian Barwick
*Devon FA: Dave Henson +
*Essex FA: Michael Game +
*Bolton Wanderers Chairman: Phil Gartside ^
*Manchester United Chief Executive: David Gill ^
*Gloucestershire FA: Roger Burden +
*Premier League Chairman: Sir Dave Richards ^
*Hampshire FA: John Ward +
*Ipswich Town Chairman: David Sheepshanks %
*Norwich City F.C. Chief Executive: Neil Doncaster % [ [ Evening News 24 - Doncaster takes on enforcer’s role ] ]


+ = National Game Representative

^ = Premier League Representative

% = Football League Representative



*Green, Geoffrey (1954) "The history of the Football Association", Naldrett Press
*Butler, B. (1991). "The official history of the Football Association", Queen Anne Press, ISBN 0-356-19145-1


ee also

External links

* [ The FA official site]
* [,1563,1519706,00.html Tom Bower "Has the Blazer Brigade doomed football?" Guardian July 2, 2005]
* [ Royal Engineers Museum] When the Royal Engineers won the FA Cup 1875

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