CEO Blog

CEO Blog 17-18

Issue 9

This week features The FA's £180m investment, Futsal February in Cambs & the big FA Cup launch of VAR


FA announces £180m investment for 2018

The FA announced new plans for 2018, ranging right across the game, and this increased funding will rise to £180m per year invested back into the game:

This is good news for us at grassroots. While the announcements regarding adopting ‘Rooney Rule’ principles when shortlisting for candidates for key roles (such as the England team manager) hit the headlines, those of us at county level looked for direct interventions to assist us, and we found them.

I was delighted to see funding included ensuring that all 64,000 youth and mini soccer teams will have a (minimum) Level 1 qualified coach. We’ve worked hard in our county to keep this figure high, mainly through the continued support of our clubs and leagues for the Charter Standard programme. As a result we’ve currently only a handful of teams that do not have a L1 qualified coach. Our focus will be on achieving 100% coverage and supporting newly appointed coaches when the inevitable ‘churn’ takes place when new coaches are found to run teams next season.

I was also pleased to see the concept of Club/ Community hubs in the announcement. Again the Charter Standard programme has helped to develop ‘Community’ clubs across our county (and the country) and my understanding is that the hub concept will support these clubs to develop further by providing resources and bespoke support to enable this to happen. 

Futsal Feb

It’s nearly time for Futsal February in Cambs!

One of the key tactics to bothgrow and retain participants in the game in our county is to offer an excitingrange of formats for people. Futsal is a key part of this offer:

Futsal is face paced, can beplayed in all weathers as it’s played indoors, and offers a great way to buildboth technical and physical attributes. Our festivals next month will also havethe other (and most important) key ingredient: FUN 

If you aren’t familiar withFutsal, it’s well worth a look:

VAR goes live in The FA Cup  

The first use of VAR (Video Assistant Referees) was the other big football story this week:

It is of course early days, but the initial reaction was positive in terms of use of VAR enabling the correct decision to be made.

There were some concerns about the time taken to review video footage and as a result the stoppages to the game. There was also the comparison to Rugby Union, where these pauses in play have at least some entertainment value for Rugby supporters as they get to see the video replays and hear the Referees’ exchange with (in their case) the TMO. 

I’m still unsure that it’s the panacea for the game. Picking out just 2 incidents this week (one of which was part of VAR), after multiple TV viewings, the Glen Murray goal and Kieron Dowell penalty were both to me inconclusive. I suspect that both Palace and Arsenal fans had a different view!

My preference is to allow the on field officials to make the call at the time. Yes you’ll win some and lose some, but that’s all part of the unpredictability of the game.  

Until next time.