The FA teams up with Football Foundation to provide discount for Respect equipment.
AFC Wembley welcomed The FA to their new home ground on Sunday to formally launch the new Respect Equipment Scheme.
The FA has teamed up with the Football Foundation to provide funding towards Respect barriers, signage, pitch marshals bibs and other promotional items, which demonstrate the commitment of clubs towards supporting the Respect programme.
And The FA was delighted to work with AFC Wembley, who are the Middlesex Charter Standard Club of the Year.
The club, which runs teams from Under-7s up to an adult team, have this season started playing on a new three-pitch facility in the shadow of Wembley Stadium after benefitting from Football Foundation investment.
They are keen to provide a positive environment in which its teams and opponents can play and this was certainly in evidence at the weekend as the Under-7s, Under-11s and Under-13s teams enjoyed their games before an appreciative crowd of parents on Sunday morning.
There was even a couple of terrific goals scored by the youngsters, which can be seen in the video above.
AFC Wembley are supported in their efforts by playing in the Harrow Youth League. This league, despite having over 700 teams and 10,000 players, have firmly established Respect in the way that fixtures are conducted and were the recipients of an FA National Respect Award in 2011.
FA Respect Manager, Dermot Collins, believes that the Respect measures have had a real impact in grassroots youth football.
He said: “We’ve seen fewer raging touchline parents and ‘win-at-all-cost’ coaches, and as a consequence it’s a more enjoyable game for everyone involved – including the 6,000 additional referees we now have since 2008.”
“This scheme will help extend some of the good practice we’ve seen make a difference in the grassroots game. Touchline barriers are an effective but inexpensive way of improving spectator behaviour and the Respect packs will provide a club with the means to send out a strong visual statement of its commitment to Respect.
“The vinyl banners can be displayed at club houses, pavilions and central venues. The pitch marshal’s bibs have been employed successfully at many clubs to welcome opposition supporters and to work with the referee to create a positive playing environment.
"Team captains can really help referees in their management of the game and the armbands elevate the status of the captain.”
Football Foundation Chief Executive, Paul Thorogood, said: “It is essential that everyone is able to enjoy our national game and that people, especially youngsters, are not put off by unacceptable language and behaviour.
“By teaming up with The FA and providing £200,000 towards Respect barriers and Packs, the Football Foundation is helping to create an environment where everyone can feel safe and comfortable at the grassroots level of football.”
Andy Lowe, Harrow Youth Football League Chairman, said: “Respect is tremendously important at grassroots and in particular at youth football in order to be able to generate and facilitate appropriate football being played week-in, week-out.
"This season alone we anticipate having at least 10,000 players playing football in the Harrow area with about 700 teams. It’s a record number for us and part of this is due to the Respect programme because people want to play football in our area.
"We embrace the Respect programme and everyone to do with it wants to take that on board.”
Trevor Hutton, AFC Wembley chairman and coach, said: “We’ve been supporters of the Respect programme from the very start. For us, it’s helped to develop a good culture and good atmosphere around the club.
"When the opposition come down they have an appreciation of what we are doing in grassroots football. With the Respect programme, we’ve got all the parents, supporters, and players to understand we are here to have fun and enjoy ourselves so to disrespect anybody is just a no-no.”
Collins also added that he believes the scheme will make the promotion of Respect affordable for all clubs and the value of investment in this equipment will be seen quickly in enthused and contented participants.
Clubs can apply online to the Football Foundation for a voucher offering them a 50% discount on the price of a barrier and other Respect promotional items. FA Chartered Standard Clubs will be able to access additional vouchers.
For more information and to apply online for the discount voucher visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk/respect