The Essex County FA Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place online on Thursday 17th June to conduct the annual requirements of the organisation.
The AGM documentation, agenda and Annual Report were distributed across the membership as well as being available on the Essex County FA website (the Annual Report can continue to be read/downloaded here). The AGM was held as a closed virtual meeting due to impact of Covid-19 but was attended by Essex County FA Council Members and Directors.
All aspects of AGM business were approved, including presenting the financial statements and a significant update on article changes which move the organisation further forward towards meeting the standards set in The FA and Sport England Code of Governance for County FAs.
These include increasing the size of the Board from to seven to nine directors as well as allowing for an increased number of independent directors to be appointed via an open application process. The Chair of the Inclusion Advisory Group will also be one of the nine directors to continue to champion equality and inclusion at the highest level of decision-making.
Plus, there will now also be a representative from the Essex County FA Youth Forum on the Essex County FA Council to help ensure the voice of youth is articulated.
Wayne Deller and Alec Berry, long-standing members of the Essex County FA Council, and both former Chairmen of the Association, retired from their roles on the Board and as Group Representatives on Council as both have reached the age of 70.
Dave Threadgold, another long-serving member of Council, will also be retiring from his Group Representative role on Council. However, in recognition of his 15 years of service on the Essex County FA Council, Wayne was elected as a Vice-President and, following 21 years of service on the Essex County FA Council, both Alec Berry and Dave Threadgold were elected as Life Members.
Andy Chaplin, Chairman of the Essex County FA, chaired the meeting and highlighted the full detail of the activities undertaken throughout the 2019/20 season (which can be found in the Annual Report here), commenting: “It has been an extremely difficult and challenging year for football across Essex.”
“On behalf of all at the Essex County FA, we want to pass on our thanks to everyone, including all the volunteers who have shown dedication and commitment to adapt to the changes which they have had to make due to the ongoing pandemic.”
“We have all had to manage things remotely, with constant virtual meetings, but this has also opened new ways of working and making decisions, as it allows decisions to be made quicker and has also provided some savings both in terms of time and financial expense.”
“It can sometimes be forgotten that league and club officers, managers, coaches and volunteers do these jobs as hobbies, and give up considerable time and effort to help deliver football for the benefit of others. Time is precious, but the volunteers continue to be the lifeblood of the game.”
“Whilst grassroots football has had to adapt and change, clubs across the county have had to deal with the financial implications of the restrictions over the last 15 months.”
“This has been a key consideration and the Essex County FA have tried to help alleviate some of those pressures through the free affiliation offers, and insurance offers, whilst also supporting clubs to access some of the Covid-19-specific funding which has been available. With another season curtailed, this will undoubtedly have financial implications.”
“We were also very proud of the wonderful achievements of both Concord Rangers and Hornchurch in reaching respective FA Trophy finals for 2020 and 2021, with Concord being narrowly defeated after an excellent display and Hornchurch winning the trophy for the very first time.”
“It has, of course, also been disappointing that the ongoing restrictions have meant the staff, Board or Council have been unable to engage in-person with the stakeholders across the county, but we hope that, with the ongoing success of the vaccination programme, this possibility may be opening up again.”
“Ultimately, given the significant challenges faced during 2019/20 and impact into 2020/21, the key focus for the Essex County FA was to support the re-start of the game, to manage the financial position of the business following significant funding cuts by The FA and the disruption caused by the pandemic, and to continue to update governance structures in-line with Sport England’s requirements.”
“Progress has been made on all fronts, and we will continue to be challenged in a number of ways as the game continues to recover, but we look forward to the 2021/22 season and continuing to help and support football across Essex.”
Find out more about the structure and functions of the Essex County FA in the menus above, by following @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.