CEO Blog 17-18
This week features The FA People's Cup countdown, the latest Premier League TV deal & showing racism the red card
Countdown to The Peoples’ Cup
It’s nearly time for The FA People’s Cup, which must be the biggest five-a-side tournament in this country. The first round is taking place across the country over the weekend of the 23-25 February.
What’s great about The FA People’s Cup is that it’s a small-sided competition, making it easier to access and raise a team. It is free to enter and is open to male, female and disability players across 18 categories – ranging from U14s through to veterans (over-35s). So there really is something there for everyone to have a go.
The 2017 edition of The FA People's Cup attracted a record number of players (45,000) and teams (6,000), and I’m sure that the number of entrants for this year will be even higher, given the excellent profile of the event through the BBC and also the levels of digital engagement via social media and the app that goes with it.
At our own centre at the Bottisham 3G just outside Cambridge, the men’s category is already full and there are also a good number of teams ready to take part in the walking football category.
There’s still time to sign up, but you’ll have to be quick!
Have TV rights peaked?
This week saw the announcement that 5 out of the 7 Premier League TV packages have been sold, netting a cool £4.464bn for the period 2019-2022. This compares to the total value of the current package of £5.14bn.
So Premier League TV rights are still big business. What we don’t yet know is whether the 2 remaining packages will amount to the £676m needed to match the current figure. Have these packages not yet been sold, or is there a different reason- maybe due to a new player coming to the table in the form of a Netflix, Facebook or Amazon as was predicted
I think it will be a big deal if the total figure does not match the £5.14bn, and should start to send out an indication that the current riches might not last forever.
I am yet to see what has really changed as a direct result of the current 2015-19 TV deal, apart from players and agents getting even bigger pay-outs. Not too long ago £100k per week was eye watering. Now it seems that many more players are earning this figure and the top earners perhaps 5 or 6 times this amount according to media reports.
We’re experiencing another bad winter and many games are getting called off, so we know that we need more 3G pitches. The cost of one of these is approaching £700k. At the grassroots of the game we desperately need a greater slice of this money coming our way rather than just adding to the (probably already outdated) £50k per week salary average for a Premier League player.
Stand up to racism
Cambridgeshire FA was delighted recently to host and support the launch meeting to keep racism out of football.
The meeting saw local MP Daniel Zeichner and fellow speakers Matt Clements (ex Cambridge United & Cambridge City) and Paul Sillett from Stand Up to Racism outline the important role football can play in challenging discriminatory behaviour.
There was a consensus that this message needs to be widely promoted both in football and in wider society.
If you’d like to get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org or look at facebook.com/CambridgeSUTR. Anyone witnessing behaviour that is discriminatory in any way in local football should not hesitate in reporting it to their local County FA.
Until next time.