CEO Blog

CEO Blog 16-17

Issue 21

This week features Mark Clattenburg, goalline technology and Girls' football.

BBC Sport - Mark Clattenburg

Clattenburg quits the Premier League


It is unusual for news of a referee’s imminent ‘transfer’ to make the headlines. That did happen this week, when the news broke of Mark Clattenburg’s decision to quit England’s Premier League in favour of leading refereeing in Saudi Arabia.


Many aspects of this strike me as bizarre. The timing for a start seems odd, as we sit mid-season, and with plenty of big games left that will surely need our best referees. Also there must be contractual commitments presumably in place between Clattenburg and the PGMOL until the end of the season. I might be wrong, but I suspect there may be some serious money involved…


Perhaps in the end it is down to timing, with the previous Head of Refereeing at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, Howard Webb, having resigned in the last couple of weeks. It may have been a case of ‘if you want the job, you have to come now’, which has forced a decision and resolution between all parties involved.


Whatever the ins and outs of this, it is not a good sign that our best referee can be tempted away from the Premier League at the age of is a sign though that our top referees are in demand, and are starting to command big money, if not yet in the league of the top players.


I just hope we don’t know see this happening more widely as lucrative offers from China and other emerging football nations come forward to tempt our match officials away. 

Coming soon to The Championship- goalline technology


The extension of the use of technology gathered pace this week. I guess it is inevitable, and yes it now seems that goalline Technology is coming to the Championship, as clubs agreed ‘in principle’ this week to adopt it from the start of the 17-18 season.


I’ve nothing against technology in football, but my view is that it has to solve genuine issues in the game that otherwise, when left to the human eye, are too difficult to call. Rugby and cricket have both embraced technology well, and it has not interrupted the flow of the game. That certainly needs to be the case in our sport.


My caveat to the use of technology is: where will it end? I don’t want to see match officials under any more scrutiny than they already are. Surely there has to be a cut off where both the cost and integrity of the game can manage without it?

Mia Cinque

Growing the girls’ game and Mia Cinque


Cambridgeshire FA has secured 3 Mini Soccer Centres for girls, which will assist the growth of the female game to support the other opportunities available.


The FA has a national target to double participation in the female game. To achieve this, we have to get more girls playing football in Primary Schools, and the Mini Soccer Centres will link to this by not only creating interest and a high quality playing opportunity, but will also provide a bridge from school to club.


There are fantastic opportunities for girls to progress in the game, as we have seen with Mia Cinque, who has been selected to play for England U17s. Mia is a product of Cambridgeshire FA’s Advanced Coaching Centre, and we’re really proud of what she has achieved so far.


Until next week.