The Football Association (The FA) has unveiled a bold strategy for the 2020-2024 period that includes winning a major tournament, creating a game free of discrimination and maximising investment into the game, amongst others.
The six part strategy includes a foreword from FA CEO Mark Bullingham, stats of the game, state of the game and finally, the FA's strategy.
Bullingham begins by laying out the meaning of the strategy, stating that by 2024 he hopes "to take The FA and English football forward with bold leadership and ambitious targets to build on the progress of the past four years. "
The achievements of the last four years that Bullingham is referencing to is the increased participation in the sport by women and girl's, which has almost doubled, according to the FA, as well as registering more than one million grassroots players online as the body looks to move into the digital age.
The FA provided some important statistics that they hoped to improve upon, including the split between men and women who play football. Out of a total of 14.1 million players, just 3.4 million of them are women, compared to the 10.6 million men. Additionally, out of 27, 451 referees, only 1718 are female and 9.5 per cent from a BAME background.
The strategy shines a light over the difficulties the FA have faced throughout the COVID-19 crisis, with anticipated revenue losses at £300 million. However, the FA claimed that "thanks to the strong base created over the last four years we are better positioned than many to weather the storm."
'Black Lives Matter', a movement that swept through the minds of many across the world, was acknowledged by the FA as a moment of reflection on how they could better tackle discrimination themselves.
"As we enter a new cycle full of major milestones including 150 years of our England teams and the Emirates FA Cup, ten years of St. George’s Park and 100 years of Wembley, we're ready to remind the nation of football’s remarkable power as a force for good," the strategy read.
Part four revealed what the strategy entailed by providing six 'Game Changer Objectives' and eight 'Serve Objectives'.
The 'Game Changer Objectives' are:
Win a major tournament
Serve 2 million+ through a transformed digital platform
Ensure equal opportunities for every girl
Deliver 5000 quality pitches
A game free from discrimination
Maximise the appeal of the FA Cups and BFAWSL
The 'Serve Objectives' are:
Trusted, progressive regulation and administration
Safe and inclusive football pathways and environment
Personalised and connected learning experiences
Maximum investment into the game
Diverse, high-performing workforce and inclusive culture
World class venues and events
Strong reputation and clear brand identity
Technology enabled and insight driven
The statement added: "Our new strategy and its six Game Changer objectives reflect our purpose. We believe we can change the fabric of the game and tackle long-term issues, to make the largest possible impact in the years ahead. These issues are unlikely to be solved within four years, but working collaboratively with clarity and conviction we can make a material step in the right direction.
"These Game Changers are underpinned by our eight Serve objectives, ensuring we maintain brilliant business-as-usual services to support the growing and evolving needs of the game. These objectives are at the heart of any progressive national governing body."
Author: Jake Wilkin