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FA bosses should consider resigning, says committee chairman Damian Collins :-: talkSPORT

The four Football Association bosses who faced the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee on Wednesday should considering resigning over the Mark Sampson affair, according to panel chairman Damian Collins.

FA chairman Greg Clarke, chief executive Martin Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth and HR director Rachel Brace were interrogated by the 11 MPs on the panel for more than two very uncomfortable hours.

From what checks were made on Sampson before he became England Women's manager, to why the FA was withholding half of an £80,000 settlement from whistle-blower Eni Aluko, the MPs pulled apart the governing body's handling of the bullying, racism and sex allegations that led to Sampson's dismissal last month.

Having started his evidence to the committee with an apology to Aluko and England team-mate Drew Spence for racist remarks Sampson has finally been found to have made to them, Glenn refused to accept the FA's entire response was flawed, while Clarke would not apologise personally to Aluko, despite her sitting behind him.

After the hearing, when asked if the FA officials should consider their positions, Collins said: "Yes, I think they have to look very carefully at the evidence given today.

"I think it was disappointing that not even until right at the end was Greg Clarke prepared to admit the FA should apologise for failings in its process – quite serious failings in a process the individuals on that panel were responsible for.

"And it's disappointing that not one of the people who had responsibility for taking charge of that process was prepared to admit they got it wrong. Therefore, you have to question if they are the right people to take the organisation forward."

Collins said he and his colleagues were also "not convinced" by the FA's arguments. He said they want to see what advice the governing body has received from its lawyers Farrer & Co and are "staggered" Aluko has not received all of the settlement money she is owed.

The Conservative MP also described the FA's first investigation into Aluko's complaint, which was conducted by Ashworth and Brace in 2016, as "woefully inadequate" and said Clarke's quickly withdrawn comment that claims of institutional racism at Wembley were "fluff" was "extraordinary".

Collins added: "The question should be: does what you've seen today inspire confidence and do they understand the issues well enough to put in place the right systems to ensure it doesn't happen again? And I'm not convinced."

During his evidence, Clarke claimed he was one of only two "decent candidates" who wanted the FA chairman job last year and was warned by friends it was "career death", while Glenn has lost three England managers in Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce and now Sampson since becoming chief executive in March 2015.

Ashworth was on the interview panel that hired Sampson in 2013, acted as his line manager and signed off on his completion of training ordered by the FA's safeguarding unit after a year-long investigation which concluded in 2015.

Brace only joined last year, but she still allowed Ashworth to effectively vouch for Sampson in an employee grievance procedure he was meant to be leading.

Collins was not the only member of the panel shocked by the FA's failure to accept more responsibility for the mistakes made, with Labour MP Jo Stevens telling Clarke his attempt to justify his actions as an example of good governance was "shambolic", while Julian Knight, Ian Lucas and Chris Matheson all clashed angrily with the witnesses.

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