An MP has said Accrington Stanley has ‘the best chairman in the football league’.
Graham Jones, MP for Hyndburn, heaped praise on Stanley but criticised Blackburn Rovers during a debate on reforming the Football Association on Thursday, February 9.
The MP, and Blackburn Rovers fan, spoke-up for two local clubs and their ownership in the modern game.
He said: “My area has three clubs, two of which are well run. One is Accrington Stanley, and I give a shout for Andy Holt, who must be the best chairman in the football league. The other is Burnley, which is well run, but I shall move on.
“Many people in the Chamber and outside will be aware of the problems of my club, Blackburn Rovers, and how poorly it is run.
“My final point is about the owners, and I think people know what I am going to say.
“When we talk about a fit and proper persons test, we talk about people who perhaps should not run football clubs for financial reasons.
“In the case of Blackburn Rovers, it is just sheer incompetence. There is only one UK director and they have no interest in the fans or the club.”
Mr Jones was speaking in the House of Commons on the debate into the FA’s governance following the scandal and resignation of former England manager Sam Allardyce last year, a lack of diversity on the FA, fraud and ownership of clubs and the use of supporters’ money.
The Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee recommended FA reform six years ago when the previous Sports Minister, Sir Hugh Robertson, described football as ‘the worst governed sport in this country’.
Mr Jones said: “When we talk about root and branch reform, it cannot just be about the FA, the senior structures and the picking of the England manager — although they are dreadful at that — it must be about some of the other issues at the grassroots.
“It is not only all the issues that have been raised by honourable Members that appear to show a structure that is unfit for purpose. We have seen not just a sequence of managers but of chairmen who have not been credible or led the FA properly.
“It is time for root and branch reform of the organisation and some sense of the English game being managed for the benefit of all — those at the top and those at the bottom.”