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Richards slams 'futile' Triesman attack

Sir Dave Richards has told ESPNsoccernet it has been a "futile" waste of time for Lord Triesman to suggest that the problems of poor governance in football lies at the door of the most powerful league in world football.

• Triesman slams Sir Dave Richards

At a Parliamentary inquiry into football governance, Triesman accused Premier League chairman Richards of being 'aggressive' and a 'bully', while also claiming that the organisation is opposed to change. Hugh Robertson, the sports minister, also decried football as "the worst governed sport in this country", but Richards has taken exception to Triesman's personal attack.

"Bully the 12 people on the FA Board? Absolutely not. What a futile accusation,'' he told ESPNsoccernet.

"I am not a bully, I, nor the Premier League, block any change at the FA, we would not block change because we want change, we are a progressive organisation and I was personally involved in changing the Constitution of the FA back in 1996 to form a Board capable of being progressive.

"The FA is in control of football's governance, football's regulations and of football's discipline, and that is how it should be.

"If the FA wants to run the professional game, the leagues and the Premier League, then, of course, we all have a problem because the Premier League won't tolerate that kind of interference and we will fight our corner.

"The FA needs to stick to their principles of governance, regulations and discipline. We are opposed to the FA running the Premier League.

"However, we are open minded about change, as we should be. I attend the FA Board meetings about once a month, and I am one man's opinion among a board of 12. But I am entitled to my opinion as a representative of the Premier League.

"For good or bad, I speak my mind, and being a Yorkshireman I might not be as eloquent at speaking as some, but I say it as I see it."

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