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Mills answers Commission criticism

Published 21/10/2013 | 17:06

Danny Mills is one of the 10 England commission members
Danny Mills is one of the 10 England commission members

Danny Mills has defended Football Association chairman Greg Dyke after he was the target for criticism about the make-up of his England commission.

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Mills, the former England defender who is one of the 10 commission members, said he was surprised by FA board member Heather Rabbatts criticising the lack of an ethnic minority representative.

Her letter to the FA prompted Dyke to admit he had made a mistake with the timing of his first eight appointments, with Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and England manager Roy Hodgson only announced on Sunday.

Mills told Sky Sports News Radio: "The Commission is still in its infancy and I'm surprised by Heather's statements. She is on the FA board and I'm sure she will have been party to discussions that have gone on.

"She must have known that Clarke Carlisle and Rio Ferdinand had been approached. Surely that does show diversity."

Mills also insisted there was no issue about the commission all being men.

He added: "People will argue that there was no woman named but do we have - at the moment - enough women with enough experience at this level because we are talking about the England senior team?"

Mills said critics should support the aims of the commission rather than attacking it.

"It's almost as though people are already willing it to fail which is sad," he said.

"Everyone seems to have their own agenda in all of this.

"People have to remember this is a voluntary commission that has been set up to try and improve the England national team.

"It's about how we do that long term and there are many different solutions, different debates and many hurdles to overcome.

"People have questioned the validity of certain people being on the commission. But there is a broad mix of football knowledge and there are already four meetings planned before Christmas."

Dyke's commission will aim to come up with recommendations to improve the England team.

Apart from Dyke, Mills, Ferdinand and Hodgson, the other members are former England manager Glenn Hoddle, ex-Crewe manager Dario Gradi, Football League chairman Greg Clarke, FA vice-chairman Roger Burden, plus LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson and new PFA chairman Ritchie Humphreys.

Press Association

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