The Football Association have announced a series of new initiatives and investments which will have a significant impact, both on the organisation itself, and for all of English football.
A range of measures will aim to improve the culture of The FA and achieve considerable new investment into every level of the game. These include:
* New policies, procedures and changes to the support structure around England teams at St George’s Park
* A significant new commitment to making The FA a more inclusive and diverse organisation
* An increase to the contribution and leadership from The FA in supporting inclusion and anti-discrimination across all of English football
* A new initiative to ensure a greater level of engagement from senior ex-professionals and managers in The FA’s work
* Increased independence and transparency in The FA’s decision-making process
The announcement also includes a range of substantial new strategic investments in the game which will be made from the 2018/19 season. This will total around £180m per year going directly back into football, which is up from £123m in the previous year, representing a 38% increase.
The FA are a not-for-profit organisation who are now able to make this new investment due to increased revenue from the sale of the Emirates FA Cup and England broadcast deals, a new long-term partnership with Nike and the consequence of a corporate re-structure in 2015. This has enabled The FA to operate more efficiently. The new investments include:
* More than double the Emirates FA Cup prize fund from the 2018/19 season. This will benefit all participating clubs at every stage of the competition
* Pay off the Wembley National Stadium debt. This will be done by the end of 2024, ensuring the burden of debt repayment is removed from then on. At present repayment rates, this means £2-3m saved every year after 2024 and invested back into the game
* Significantly increasing the investment into grassroots facilities by £9m per year. This money will support a range of new and existing facility programmes to meet the needs across grassroots clubs, County FAs, local authorities and education sites, including a new mini-pitch programme in primary schools and grassroots clubs up and down the country
* Increasing FA investment in grassroots participation activities by nearly £6m per year
* Investing directly into the 20,000 grassroots affiliated clubs to ensure that each of the 64,000 mini-soccer and youth teams has a minimum of a Level One coach, providing football’s youngest players with the quality coaching they deserve
* The establishment of a new Community Club Hub network. Over 150 large-scale clubs across England will receive direct investment and resource support to deliver development outcomes. Each Hub will also have a subsidised UEFA ‘B’ Coach mentor to work across their club and the wider community
* A new Volunteer Strategy to invest directly in succession planning and training across the league and club networks. This will include a reward and recognition element
* Establishment of a recreational growth fund to support recreational football, including small-sided, Futsal and Walking Football
* Sustain and enhance the disability growth fund to support growth in disability football
* Increasing FA investment in the women’s and girls’ game by an additional £50m over six years to ensure the sustainability of successful initiatives such as the SSE Wildcats programme - which will see 3,200 new Wildcats centres by 2020 - and also ensuring the Women’s Super League gets the support it requires as it grows. This is all part of The FA’s commitment to double participation in women’s football and to ensure consistent success on the world stage
Martin Glenn, FA Chief Executive Officer, said: “These initiatives and investments will make a significant impact to the way football is run in this country. They illustrate both how committed The FA is to becoming a more inclusive and diverse organisation, and how much it contributes to English football. The FA will now invest over £180m a year back into the game, more than we have ever done before, which will have a positive and meaningful impact at every level of football in England.”
If you’d like to find out more about grassroots football in Essex, browse the menus above, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.