August 11, 2022

Elleray will face no further action

An independent report into the former chair of the Football Association’s referees’ committee, David Elleray, has come to a conclusion, with the FA deciding that Elleray should face no further punishment, despite refusing to publish the report.

The FA commissioned Leigh Barnett to launch an investigation into Elleray in December after a series of allegations against him were first revealed by iNews.

Although the governing body have determined that no action should be taken against Elleray, it has been confirmed that he will step down from his role at the end of the month from all of his roles at the FA.

As well as operating as chair of the referees’ committee, Elleray was also a member of the FA council for two decades. The Barnett report however made “several recommendations” to improve the culture of refereeing in England as well as help tackle the lack of professionals from an ethnic minority background in football.

This season there have been 40 professional referees operating across the top four divisions in England – all of them are of white ethnicity.

When asked about the report, chief executive of charity Ref Support UK, Martin Cassidy, said that he could not talk about the specifics of the findings but stated that: “We understand there will be major positive changes and a reset of the culture within FA refereeing at grass roots and professional level.”

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“We look forward to seeing what the proposals are and being involved in the process.

“We really appreciate FA chief executive Mark Bullingham responding to our correspondence that resulted in this investigation and look forward to working with the FA in future.”

After confirmation of the conclusion to the investigation, the FA released a statement which read: “With football emerging from the pandemic and, in particular, the return to face-to-face meetings, David Elleray, chair of the FA Referees’ Committee, who is now based in South Africa, has decided to step down from his various FA roles at the end of the 2021-22 season after 20 years on the FA Council.

“Out of respect to the independent investigation into allegations against him and the FA, David delayed this retirement announcement until the conclusion of the investigation. The investigation has now concluded and the FA will not be taking any action against David.”

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