Blog 17-18 issue 1

CEO Blog 17-18

Issue 1

There have been big stories in the pro game over the last few weeks, ranging from closing the transfer window early (one of my favourite topics) to bumper TV deals for EFL clubs. 

Transfer window

I dislike the run-around that afflicts the start of the season, and the last week of August in particular. With the Premier voting to close the window early- an incredibly sensible move- EFL clubs will decide in February whether to follow suit:

The only possible disadvantage that has been offered so far seems to be that there may be a disadvantage with our transfer window closing before the mainland European leagues close theirs. Personally, I see the risk of losing a player to one of the giants in Europe as one worth taking to remove the chaos and instability. 

BBC Sport - EFL Deal

EFL TV deal

So, what about the big money TV deal now coming to an EFL club near you?

I am sure the cash is needed, especially in the lower divisions. I am concerned about the possible lower attendances for those midweek fixtures that will be available for fans to stream live, which is a feature of the new deal. 

My club has done a great job in selling additional season tickets and pricing games at £20 to try to fill the ground. The results are good, with at the midweek fixture this week there was a decent crowd of 21,000 compared to the lows of last season with Tuesday night games seeing just 15,000 rattling around the big house. So that’s a risk…

The fixture planners need to do their bit too and schedule better fixtures in these slots to deter the streamers

Grassroots admin

Back to things at a local level, the hot topics for us at Cambridgeshire FA have been dealing with club affiliationsplayer registrations and safeguarding compliance. All three elements are vital to getting people playing in a regulated environment.

I am delighted that in the cases of affiliation and player registration, the online administration systems have been helping to reduce both time and cost. It is early days for player registration, but with the help of our leagues, over 10,000 players will be registered online this season. With that heavy lifting done this year, the process for next season will be even easier for clubs to manage.  

Club affiliation as a process is now 100% online, with all our clubs logging in to complete this task digitally. It has been a great effort by our clubs, and support staff in both leagues and at the County FA. 

I’ll share more in future editions about the vital work to implement Safeguarding Operating Standards in all counties.

We are well underway with the process in Cambridgeshire, and the principle of ensuring that Safeguarding is the primary consideration in all activities is one that we support wholeheartedly.

Arsenal womens

WSL re-structure

The big news this week was the announcement of a full-time league as part of the WSL re-structure.

I’ll share more on this as we see the pathway from local football develop. In the meantime, have a read of to clarify the detail behind this huge step forward:

Until next time