FA governor gives students the inside track

One of the top governors in English football has given students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) rare insights into the world of the beautiful game.

Richard McDermott, Company Secretary at the English Football Association (FA) joined DMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard for the talk in the recently restored courtroom of the Leicester Castle Business School.

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Governance structure, administration, development of players and disciplinary hearings were all covered and there was also time to discuss England’s chances of winning the FIFA World Cup in Russia next summer.

Mr McDermott said: “You can’t look too far away from Germany, Spain and Brazil.

“England, I think, have a chance but we are very much in a development stage to see how close we are to being ready for Qatar 2022.

“It’s very pleasing to see the youngsters coming through and doing well against Germany and Brazil in the past week. 

“It shows great courage from Gareth (Southgate) to give them a go against the world’s best, but he’s seen a lot of them play since they were 16, so he’s in the best place to judge their character.

“Whether they will go to Russia, that all depends on whether they get game time in the Premier League with their respective clubs.”

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Mr McDermott began working for the FA as Assistant Company Secretary in 2009 before taking the mantle in his current role.

Talking to students, he focused on the governance structure of the FA and how major decisions are made with regard to appointments, facilities and funding.

Student sport was also discussed, bringing in insights from Professor Shellard, recently appointed as the British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) Representative to the FA Council, where he had his first meeting on October 26.

The audience featured students from DMU’s Management, Law and Humanities of Sports MA also known as the FIFA Masters and also members of the both the DMU’s men’s and women’s football clubs.

Women’s football in particular was an area in which Mr McDermott touched on a great deal, from its funding, to the strategic objective to increase the number of women participating, watching and officiating in football.

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Mr McDermott also answered questions on the recent investigation into the allegations made by Women’s England International forward Eniola Aluko.

Stuart Winship, 29, who studies DMU’s Management, Law and Humanities of Sport MA, said: “The talk today was extremely relevant to our core course learning.

“During the course, we will study in three different countries and this segment at DMU particularly focuses on modern sport and governance structure.

“The FA plays a major role in educating us in this area and we recently visited the FA for a talk at Wembley.”

Richard finished the talk by saying: “We put a great deal of effort into grass roots, student football and the professional game.

“I am delighted you could all make it today and for engaging the way you have done.”

Later in the day, BUCS Chief Executive Vince Mayne addressed footballers competing in #BUCSWednesday fixtures at DMU’s dedicated sports facility at Beaumont Park.

Posted on Thursday 16th November 2017

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