Football authorities have been given just over four months to implement changes in the way that the sport is run.
A deadline of Wednesday, February 29 2012 has been set for the Football Association to make significant changes to the current board and to introduce a new licensing system for the club game.
"[Football's] governance has failed to keep up with the modern game," said sports minister Hugh Robertson.
"I believe there are improvements that can be made.
"[But] I do not want government to run football, so this is an opportunity for the football family to work together to benefit the game in the long-term."
Failure to make the necessary alterations could result in government intervention.