The FA Board met on Thursday 24 January and set out below are the main discussion points.
The Board received a presentation from Mark Bullingham (Chief Commercial and Football Development Officer) and Esmond Blake (Senior Business Programme Manager) on the changing landscape of the market for sports broadcasting.
Broadcast revenue represents a significant proportion of our annual turnover and we are witnessing a gradual change in how consumers view sports content. Increasingly, consumers are using internet-based platforms to access sports content rather than viewing through traditional television channels.
Given the importance of broadcast revenue to The FA, this is something which we need to be cognisant of and the Board was supportive of the approach Mark and Esmond outlined in ensuring that The FA’s broadcast strategy reflects this changing landscape.
Russell James (Digital Engagement Director) provided an update on progress with our digital engagement programme which is a significant area of investment for The FA. There are a number of projects ongoing which aim to enable us to directly engage with the various participants in the game as well as to modernise the administration of the game through mobile technology. There are a number of challenges, particularly around the capture and integrity of data, but the Board were pleased with the progress made to date.
The FA, Premier League and Government all contribute to the Football Foundation which, since establishment in 2000, has invested circa £1.5 billion into community football facilities. Paul Thorogood (CEO, Football Foundation) presented to the Board on a rebranding project which seeks to better communicate the great work that each of the funding partners do at community football level through the Football Foundation.
Safeguarding remains an important focus for the Board and we take a keen interest in progress, particularly how The FA is managing cases, working with survivors and ensuring that County FAs continue to meet the Safeguarding Operating Standard.
The Board briefly discussed the proposed changes to the Laws of the Game which will be discussed at the March AGM of the International Football Association Board (IFAB). Proposed changes include trying to provide greater clarity in determining handball offences and there is likely to be support for measures to improve the flow of the game, such as substituted players leaving the field of play at the nearest boundary line.
In February, there will be a number of elections for positions at UEFA. The incumbent President, Aleksander Ceferin, is seeking re-election for a second term to which the Board committed our support. There are a number of vacancies on UEFA’s Executive Committee and for European members of the FIFA Council. David Gill will step down as a FIFA Council Member at the end of his current term in June and we are enormously appreciative of the contribution David has made in representing the interests of English football at FIFA. This position is reserved for the British Home Nations to nominate and Greg Clarke will be seeking election, with David Martin from Northern Ireland also a candidate.