THE BLOG
12/04/2013 18:05 BST | Updated 12/06/2013 06:12 BST

Inside the FA: A View From the Governance Team

As you are hopefully aware, through the extensive media coverage it has received, this year marks the 150th anniversary of the Football Association.

It was late October in 1863 when Ebenezer Cobb Morley and his contemporaries gathered together in London's Freemason's Tavern, near to where Holborn tube station is today, to establish a code of rules for the regulation of football.

Fast forward to today and the modern game is unrecognisable from those humble beginnings. Its global audience has never been bigger with interest in the English game growing year-on-year. With this comes huge expectation, from fans, players, managers and the media, for the rules and decision-making processes to be fair, transparent, and delivered consistently across the game.

You only have to look back to last month and the tackle involving Wigan's Callum McManaman to see the level of interest there is in our game and in particular the policy for 'seen' and 'not seen' incidents which occur on the field of play. Such incidents soon become hot topics for debate in pubs, offices, on radio phone-in shows and in the media.

On the day that we confirmed no action could be taken in relation to this incident, it was important we explained publicly not just the reason for that decision, but also the background behind how and why decisions such as this are reached.

While it continues to be of paramount importance that the FA leads the way when overseeing the governance and regulation of football in England, everyone involved in the game has a responsibility to play their part in ensuring these rules continue to be fit for purpose. We do this in full consultation with the game's stakeholders, namely, the Premier League, the Football League, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the League Managers' Association, the Professional Footballers' Association and the grassroots game.

Within the FA's governance division, we continue to take proactive measures to educate participants about the standards of behaviour expected and what punishments they are likely to face should they breach our on and off-field rules and regulations. This involves pre-season club visits from members of the governance department across all four professional leagues to remind players and managers of their responsibilities and explain any new rule changes. We also undertake a similar approach with print and broadcast journalists during the season to help further their understanding of our policies and procedures.

We've also grabbed with two hands the opportunities which exist to inform and educate football fans, through innovative use of the internet and social media.

Working closely with FATV and Graeme Le Saux, we've been continuing to develop the rules and governance section of TheFA.com website to provide video content, hosted by the ex-Chelsea and England footballer, for our rulebook analysis area.

These videos are proving incredibly useful in helping to bring the organisation's rulebook to life and most recently we've published additional content explaining our anti-doping procedures and football's advancements in supporter safety.

I doubt even the great football pioneer Ebenezer Cobb Morley, the man who set the game on its long track around the world, could've predicted the need for FA rules on Twitter-use, social networking, betting or media comments - considerations which certainly didn't exist 150-years ago, but which we now explain on TheFA.com.

Education and transparency remain key which is why the FA also publishes the 'Written Reasons' generated from independent regulatory commission hearings. These are made public via TheFA.com and become historical records by which our policies and procedures are measured. They provide an invaluable resource to help explain the process and rationale for any decision taken by a regulatory commission.

As we reflect in 2013 on just how much work has been done across the game to make sure the policies and rules help make it sustainable and enjoyable for future generations as well as existing fans and participants, we remain committed to ensuring the vision which football's forefathers had is as clear today as it was back in 1863.