The Football Association [The FA] has today 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.
Today’s announcements include a range of measures aimed at improving the culture of The FA and 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 is a not-for-profit organisation that is 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 the 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 we can remove the burden of debt repayment from then on. At present repayment rates, this means £2-3m saved every year after 2024 and invested back into the game
Significantly increasing our 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 our 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 our 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 wider community
A new Volunteer Strategy to invest directly in succession planning and training across the Leagues and Clubs network. 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 our investment in the women and girl’s 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: "The initiatives and investments announced today 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."
For more information on the investments, see below...
1. Wembley Debt to be repaid by 2024
Despite being re-financed at favorable rates two years ago, we now have the opportunity to clear the £142m debt completely by the end of 2024. This would be a prudent investment that will have a long-term benefit to the financial sustainability to the Group saving annual interest payments of between £2m-£3m a year to be re-invested back into the game.
2. Emirates FA Cup Prize Fund to be more than doubled
The Emirates FA Cup prize fund will be more than doubled from the 2018/19 season. This will benefit all participating clubs at every stage of the competition. The FA is in consultation with the leagues with regards to the exact formula of the distribution of the prize fund.3.
An additional £9m per year into grassroots facilities investment
Quality pitches and changing facilities remain our biggest challenge in the grassroots game. This money will allow us to accelerate our efforts to deliver more and better football facilities for the grassroots game. In partnership with Sport England and Premier League, this increased investment will support a range of new and existing facility programmes to meet the needs across grassroots clubs, County FAs, local authorities and education sites. One such new initiative includes a mini-pitch programme which will be piloted in 2018, and if successful rolled out across primary schools and grassroots clubs up and down the country. Such new initiatives will complement existing programmes such as the Parklife community hub scheme which has been successfully rolled out in Sheffield, with further hubs to follow in Liverpool, London and a further 15 other cities and towns in England. The £9m is in addition to the £20m a year already investment by The FA into football facilities, all delivered through The Football Foundation, and will alongside the investment of our partners help to ensure that by 2024 over 80% of all football will be played on quality football pitches.
4. A Level One coach for every mini-soccer and youth team
There are 64,000 mini-soccer and youth football teams. The youth game is thriving, witnessing a seven per cent year on year increase in team numbers. We want the first experience of football for all those children to be the best it can be. In order that they can enjoy and learn their football in a safe and fun environment, and also improve the standard of football being played, we are investing to ensure every one of those teams has a Level One qualified coach. We will make funds available to clubs to get their volunteers onto the coaching pathway and improve the standards of their mini-soccer and youth offering.
5. 150 new Community development club hubs each with a UEFA B Coach mentor
The largest community clubs are the most sustainable and deliver the most development outcomes in terms of the number and diversity of the teams they run. For the first time The FA will invest directly in 150 of the biggest clubs to support this vital community development work. Clubs will be invited to put themselves forward to enter the programme which will offer a range of support from business capacity building and direct facility investment. Each club hub will be supported to recruit/retain a UEFA B coach to not only work across its own teams but act as a coach mentor across grassroots clubs in its region. The UEFA B Licence is a coaching licence one level below the UEFA A Licence. As of November 2017 there are currently 11,095 UEFA B coaches in England.
6. An extra £50m to be invested to help double the reach of women’s and girl’s football
We will increase our investment in the women’s game. Over the next six seasons an additional £50m will be invested into women and girl’s football taking the total investment from the 2018/19 season onwards to £114m. We believe that no one in the world is matching this level of investment. It will go into every level of the women’s and girl’s game from school programmes and SSE Wildcats centres, the initiative to encourage girls between five and eleven to play football, through to investment into the Women’s Super League clubs and development of regional high performance centres to feed the talent pathway to the Lionesses.
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