ESFA Newsletter - Monday 6th April 2009
This is the time of year when the Headquarters is working to full output with 22 national finals, an international programme, a Wembley and an AGM to organize. Your dedicated staff will be giving up half their lives over this period, something they do with good humour and plenty of smiles. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for the past and for what is about to be delivered. Ed Mitchell, our latest addition to the staff has now completed his probationary 6 months and has integrated very well with all especially Mike and Darren.
For me, as your Chief Executive, the battles continue with sponsorship, relationships with the professional game and the Football Association. I know, from talking to some of you, that you are very dubious of our relationship with the National Governing Body and that some think I spend too much time on this single topic. However, you must realise that we are no longer the sole provider of football within the youth sector and children (parents) have the right to choose where their offspring play their football. Currently the FA provides us with nearly 40% of our total income, plus the staff costs for the Competition’s department. They acknowledge that the ESFA is the Governing Body of Schools’ Football and are very supportive of our organization in general. In these modern times you have to justify all your expenses when using other people’s money which is why I spend much of my time writing Business Plans, submitting Future Strategies and Funding Formats.
County Schools’ FA secretaries have had to bear the brunt of this along with myself. We are all in agreement that the forms required by the FA are not only inappropriate for school football but are also very complex and take enormous amounts of time to complete. May I thank all those County Secretaries who have jumped through the hoops with me and reassure them that the work they have done will be incorporated onto the new funding forms enclosed with this Newsletter. County Secretaries who have not returned the original XL spreadsheet should complete the new form and return to the office by 31 May 2009. If you have already completed the old form and submitted it to me you need do nothing at this time. District Secretaries are requested to complete the enclosed form even if you have already supplied information to your County Secretary. Grants will be allocated in the normal way depending on the points formulae agreed over the past three years. These forms should be returned by 31st May 2009. Grant payments will be made as usual in December.
Many thanks to you all for your patience and understanding.
Future Development of ESFA
As part of our Business Plan and commitment to the FA we have agreed that ESFA should be the coordinating body for all schools’ football. This can only been achieved if we work with our two major partners. The Competition Managers and the FA County Football Development Officers. I am happy to say that many of our County and District Associations have already struck up a good relationship, and long may this continue.
As mentioned in previous Newsletters, Mike Spinks’ role has been changed slightly to introduce a new commitment to work with the individual county schools’ secretaries and help coordinate their business with the Competition Managers and County FDOs. Already Mike has visited six counties and held a meeting with the three organisations and has another 5 planned before the end of the Summer school term. If you have examples of good practice within your associations of their work with the Football Development Officers and County Competition Managers, please let Mike know. Also, if you are having problems coordinating your programme with either the Football Development Officers or County Competition Managers, please keep Mike informed.
[repeat from last Newsletter] For ESFA and its County and District Associations to continue to be the prime deliverer of schools’ football we can no longer ignore the influences of the changes around us. Have no fears if we do not work with our partners they will not work with us and that would give them the upper hand as they have finance and manpower to spare! On my part I will continue to support schools football, as delivered by ESFA at all levels, within the FA and the Youth Sports Trust. I will work with our partners to ensure that the ethos of schools’ football is not forgotten in the desire to move forward and I will continue to badger the powers that be, and especially the Government, to financially support our association
Despite many obstructions along the path to Wembley we will play France on the 13th June 2009 at the National Stadium. The day will include the finals of the 4 National Primary Competitions. The semi finals will be played at Watford FC’s training ground in north London on Friday 12th June, however all teams will get some time on the Wembley pitch, either as a finalist or for a play off position.
I am sure you are aware of the huge cost implication of staging a match at the New Wembley; therefore it is incumbent on you, our membership, to support us in this venture. If every District Association arranged for just one coach trip to the match we would easily break even. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
After a superb night of football at Boston United where we beat the Welsh 3-0, we had to suffer the enormity of defeat by the Northern Irish at Macclesfield, 1-0. We move onto to St Mirren on the 17th April where we will play Scotland and the match will be televised live by SKY Sports. Our final Carnegie Centenary Shield match will be in Waterford on 24th April 2009, again live on SKY. Both matches kick off at 7.35pm
We have had a very successful season with the Competitions department delivering finals at major grounds and in good time. We still have some to come but surely the highlight will be the Premier League / ESFA National under 14 Individual Schools’ Trophy played at Old Trafford, Manchester
There is now a comprehensive Competition Page on the website for your use www.esfa.co.uk/competitions
Coaching and Selection
As we approach another season we are already booking and making the arrangements for the Coaching Course at Keele University between 21-25 August. To follow up my plea from the last Newsletter, County Selectors are asked to ensure that when they make nominations to the National Coaching team that the nomination forms are completed correctly and in good time. This year, for example, we have had to spend many hours chasing players to find out which school / college they attend as this information has not been filled in on the nomination form.
Promotion & Development
Long Service Awards were agreed at the March 2009 Council Meeting. All 10 and 25 Year Awards have been notified to the appropriate Council Member and the actual awards will be available after the May Council meeting. As usual there are a number of nominations that are not eligible under the national awards scheme but can be awarded locally on pre payment by the nominating County or District.
40 year awards will be presented by the appropriate Council Member at an occasion within the area or at the AGM in June. 50 Year (Gold Awards) will be presented by the Chairman at specially arranged luncheons around the country. All members receiving an award will have already have been notified of their choices, or will be notified in the next two weeks.
Rules & Referees [Repeat]
Members are asked to inform the office if they have qualified referees on their lists who might like to be considered for National Finals or International matches. The Competitions Department will be compiling a new list for this season.
There are a number of small sponsorship deals in the ‘pipe line’ but nothing concrete as yet. Unfortunately we will be loosing the Minute Maid sponsorship after 7 years (4 as the Coca Cola Cup and 3 as the Minute maid Cup). This will be a great financial blow to both the national and county associations. Sponsorship activities are at an all time low, but that is to be expected in this climate of ‘credit crunch’. Details of all our sponsors are to be found on the web site. Please support these commercial enterprises as much as you can.
Women’s and Girls FA Centres of Excellence
Discussions continue with the Women’s committee at the FA on the development of girls’ and women’s football. That committee are most upset by the recent decision made by the FA Board to delay the introduction of a fully professional Women’s League for a further year.
ESFA Council members were invited to attend FA inspections of the Centre’s of Excellence. These visits have proved to be ineffectual because instead of visiting the Centre on training nights where all their activities could be monitored, Council Members were only invited to actual matches. We are reviewing this situation for next season.
Martin Duffield, the Association Child Welfare Officer has produced the ESFA Child Welfare Policies using the Football Association guidelines. Copies of this document can be downloaded from the ESFA web site www.esfa.co.uk/childwelfare
IMPORTANT information for local and county associations:
From season 2008/2009 all Associations, as a condition of membership, must have appointed a named Child Welfare Officer (CWO) who has an ‘accepted’ CRB Check, or has, as a minimum an ‘in progress’ enhanced CRB Check with the ESFA/FA CRB Unit.
From season 2009/2010 all Associations, as a condition of membership, must have appointed a named Child Welfare Officer (CWO) who has an ‘accepted’ CRB Check via the ESFA/FA and who has completed the FA Safeguarding Children Workshop.
From season 2010/2011 all Associations, as a condition of membership, must have appointed a named Child Welfare Officer (CWO) who has an ‘accepted’ CRB Check via the ESFA/FA and who has completed the FA Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officer Workshop.
It is important that Associations, county and district, begin the process of obtaining an enhanced CRB Disclosure for all members of their Association who are in “regular” contact with children.
The FA has started to suspend coaches and referees who have not complied with this regulation. – be warned.
Relationship with FA Excellence Programme
Professional clubs wishing to gain Academy or Centre of Excellence status must follow the FA’s Charter for the Excellence Programme. This includes the relationship between schools, parents, players and clubs.
The relevant regulations can be found in the FA Handbook 2008-2009. They are too long to include in this document but should any Association wish to have a copy please email the Chief Executive firstname.lastname@example.org and request a copy.
School, District or County Schools’ Football Associations wishing to play either Academy or Excellence teams are required to get sanction from this office. Details and forms are in your ESFA Handbook. Ideally we need 14 days notice (although the Handbook states 1 month) as I am the only person who can authorize this unaffiliated football and I may be out of office for a few days. Secretaries should also ensure that their opposition have gained sanction from their appropriate league (Premier or Football League).
John A Read