The Hong Kong Football Association must reform its structure if it wants additional funding from the government, a consultancy study says. Launched by the Home Affairs Bureau last year in response to a Legislative Council motion on promoting the development of soccer in Hong Kong, the first comprehensive study on soccer of its kind has been completed and is due to be made public in two weeks. Although the government is unwilling to reveal any details until the study is tabled for discussion at a Legco meeting on March 17, it is believed the report has strongly recommended that the HKFA be more accountable and transparent in its decision-making process. 'The study has found many of the association's decisions are made behind closed doors and involve only a small group of people whose decisions are always made in their own interests,' a person close to the study said. 'This must be changed, because the government will need to inject additional public money if it is to follow the recommendations of the study, which will help the sport from grassroots development to junior squads and the Hong Kong teams at different levels, as well as strengthen support facilities. 'If the study is backed by Legco members, there will be a strong case for the government to offer the association additional funding on top of the existing annual subvention. But the association has to accept the study's suggestion to change its structure,' the person said. The HKFA's decision-making body consists of a board comprising nine directors, eight of whom have to be elected every two years. The president, who completes the number, is recommended by the eight directors at the board's first meeting. Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, president of the Hong Kong Olympic Committee, has been the HKFA president since 1997, taking over from his father, the late Henry Fok Ying-tung, who had held the post since 1970. All the directors must be nominated by the association's 55 affiliated clubs, including teams in the first, second and third divisions and three accredited members. 'The board has to be expanded with the inclusion of professionals from the non-football sectors, such as marketing and promotion experts, while government officials should also sit in on the board to monitor funding usage,' the person close to the study said. 'If the association chooses not to change, it can still keep the existing annual subvention, but will miss out on the opportunity of increased government support.' HKFA chairman Brian Leung Hung-tak (pictured) said the association would like additional funding, but admitted it faced difficulties in reforming its structure. 'We would be happy to get additional resources, as we are running a budget of over HK$20 million a year,' he said. 'But any change regarding the board's structure has to go through a general meeting, and we have to work hard to convince the clubs.' The Leisure and Cultural Services Department provides an annual subvention to the HKFA through the Sports Subvention Scheme. In 2009-10, the subvention is about HK$7.5 million, of which HK$1.5 million is for administration and the balance for programme expenses, mainly for youth development programmes (about HK$4.44 million). The remaining HK$1.52 million is for taking part in international competitions, squad training and training officials. In addition to the annual subvention, the government provides funding for specific needs. Extra funding of HK$700,000 was granted from the Arts and Sports Development Fund in 2008-09 for preparing teams for last year's East Asian Games and this year's National Games.