The Failure of the Football Association and its Policies to Effectively Manage the English National Game
Football is England’s number one sport, and is watched by, and important to, millions of people around the country. There are currently many perceived problems within the game, such as the increasing divide between the ‘big four’ clubs in the Premiership with the rest, and between Premiership and lower league clubs. Other issues such as increasing ticket prices and a lack of talented young English players are also causing problems. Perhaps the most high profile failure has been that of the national side, which has repeatedly been unable to challenge at the top levels in major tournaments, despite the Premiership being the richest and arguably best league in the world. The culmination of this was the disastrous failure to qualify for the 2008 European Championships, which lost the economy an estimated ‘£1 billion windfall’.
In this essay I will argue why the Football Association’s policies were a fiasco, focusing primarily on the symbolic qualifying failure, and on the lack of talent available due to youth development problems. Using differing explanations (optimist, realist, and pessimist) of policy fiascos, I will analyse why they took place. I will also decide which explanation best fits the situation and why.
Bovens and t’Hart (1995) define a policy fiasco as ‘a negative event that is perceived by a socially and politically significant group of people in the community to be at least partially caused by avoidable and blameworthy failures of public policymakers’. It can be confidently stated that the F.A. have overseen such a negative event with the qualification failure. National papers were aghast ‘a whole nation lost its identity at a drenched Wembley’, etc . Millions of people perceived this event to be avoidable and blameworthy, with the F.A. and the manager Steve McClaren suffering intense criticism for their roles, from politically significant...