CEO Blog

CEO Blog 16-17

Issue 24

This week features the Barca comeback, refereeing big games and FA discipline

Barcelona Comeback

The greatest ever comeback?  

The BBC Sport website captured perfectly the story surrounding the game’s ‘greatest ever comeback’ this week when Barcelona incredibly edged past PSG 6-5 after trailing 4-0 from the away leg.

The angle I am interested in- and the Arsenal v Bayern Munich ties also back this up- is how on earth do we now see such high scoring games in these massive games? It’s great for fans, ok maybe not this week if you are from Paris, and also for the TV companies, hence the huge sums they are prepared to pay for the rights to these games.

Without wishing to sound too much like a spokesperson for Alan Hansen or Lawro, whatever happened to the art of defending? It’s great viewing though!

Referee tweet

Refereeing big games in the run in

This time last week we were anticipating the referee strike across grassroots football. As I wrote last week, I was pleased that the story shone a light on the issues and challenges facing our referees, and the fact that they need to be supported effectively.

I am also pleased that referees in Cambridgeshire did not walk out. I think that there are 2 reasons for this: firstly the reported widespread level of physical abuse is not prevalent in our county, but we do have issues to address; secondly our referees tell us that they feel well supported already by our excellent team of staff and volunteers.

An example of the support on offer for our match officials was on Monday evening. We held a development evening for level 5 to 7 referees, a group who can feel left of the development pathway if they are not seeking to go any further in the game.

53 referees came along, which is a great turn out. With the season coming to a climax, the focus was on big game management. Many of the officials present had been appointed to cup finals and it was a good opportunity for them to look forward to these big games but more importantly to develop their skills as we hit the end of season run in.

The evening, led by Cambridgeshire FA Referees’ Officer Colin Hills and FA Referee Tutor Barry Ereira, covered a number of topics including game management, the role of the assistant referees and the fourth official. The evening was designed to ensure the match officials had the best possible skills to improve the cup finals experience for all.

BBC Sport

Sanctions swiftly applied to Ibra and Mings

There was an unsavoury clash last weekend between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tyrone Mings. From an FA point of view, the action to charge both players and apply sanctions, irrespective of the opinions that people will have on the punishments applied, has been handled expertly.

To deal with matter and nip the media story in the bud within 48 hours is just the sort of leadership that the game needs.

Until next week.