New arguments, old problems for FA
The minister for sport's renewed criticisms of the Football Association demand a response, but we haven't exactly been trampled in the rush from any of the protagonists.
A few texts have been exchanged, but our offers of a platform for the FA to counter or at least explain away the issues raised by their under-cooking of the reply to the-then Culture Secretary Andy Burnham's questions has been politely declined.
A bland two-liner is about it so far.
Perhaps what we need is the perspective of history, both ancient and modern, to understand why.
The FA's structure, created well over a century ago, and largely still in place holds the clues. The over-populated FA Council, born out of an earnest desire for democracy, has only ever changed at an evolutionary, not revolutionary pace... and then only when every white, middle-aged man has had his say.
The vested interests lurking in every problem, every challenge, have first to be overcome, persuaded and sometimes cajoled into making any kind of decision.
Any notion of making policy on the fly is about as alien as a bicycle to a fish. The reformers at the FA (and there are some, contrary to appearances) may have opened a bottle or two in celebration when the Council finally approved the reforms demanded by the Burns review... but two years on, many of the changes described as essential at the time, have yet to be made.
Chief among them, according to Gerry Sutcliffe, is the urgent need to appoint two independent, non-executive directors to the FA board, to bring in outside expertise, and to work as a catalyst for improved governance. Failure to take this step is widely viewed as holding the organisation back.
The Football League already has a non-footballing man on the top table: he's well regarded, and it doesn't seem to be doing them any harm.
The arrival of the new chief executive at the FA should help things along, but Ian Watmore has a huge task to manage a brief that ranges from the demand for successful national teams, an effective disciplinary department, running the FA Cup competition, sustaining the national game (ie the grass roots), and managing relationships with Uefa and Fifa. Limitless energy and a strong sense of humour probably essential.
I just have a feeling that in fact, Lord Triesman, the FA chairman, probably welcomes this barrage from his former parliamentary colleague.
The criticism gives him a mandate to push for change and make things happen. There might not be a better chance, and I suspect he knows that the "lever" Gerry Sutcliffe refers to - removing a tranche of public funding from the FA - would truly be a weapon of last resort.
No, this is an opportunity in disguise, should the FA, in its own sweet time, choose to grasp it.