The Football Association (The FA) 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.
Of the initiatives announced, Martin Glenn, The FA CEO, confirmed that BAME candidates, providing the have the required qualifications, would be interviewed for all future England coaching roles in an adoption of the ‘Rooney Rule’ which is in place in the NFL in the United States.
A range of other measures will aim to improve the overall culture of The FA following a turbulent year which saw England senior women’s head coach, Mark Sampson sacked for “inappropriate and unacceptable” behaviour with female players in a previous role in September 2017.
New policies, procedures and changes to the support structure around England teams at St George’s Park will also be introduced whilst a significant new commitment to making The FA a more inclusive and diverse organisation will see a more defined role for the Inclusion Advisory Board (IAB). This will include an increase to the contribution and leadership from The FA in supporting inclusion and anti-discrimination across all of English football.
Significantly, 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, up from £123m in the previous year, a 38% increase.
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 has enabled The FA to operate more efficiently thereby allowing the organisation to increase investments in activities.
The Emirates FA Cup prize fund will more than double from the 2018/19 season. This will benefit all participating clubs at every stage of the competition.
They will also look to pay off the Wembley National Stadium debt by the end of 2024, ensuring the burden of debt repayment is removed from then on. At present repayment rates, this means £2-3m will saved every year after 2024 and invested back into the game
Investment into grassroots facilities will increase 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.
The FA will also increase its 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.
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