Our Board met on Thursday 10 December 2020 and set out below are the main points discussed at the meeting.
One of our strategic priorities for the 2020-24 period is to deliver new quality pitches at the grassroots level of the game.
James Kendall, Director of Football Development, and Alkit Patel, Head of Strategy & Innovation, presented on the plans in place to deliver this objective. There is now a well-established grassroots facilities strategy in place which focusses on 3G and grass pitches and is aligned across all funding and delivery partners.
Additionally, we now have a clear understanding of our investment needs across the country based on local facilities plans which County FAs have been instrumental in developing. The COVID-19 pandemic's impact on funding has meant that the target has had to be revised down but we continue to recognise the importance of quality facilities on levels of participation across the game.
One of our Board’s annual duties is to approve the FA Group’s report and financial statements. Tim Score, Chair of the Group Audit Committee, and Judith Tacon, Lead Partner at Deloitte, presented to the Board on their review of the report and financial statements for the year ending 31 July 2020.
This has been a more challenging exercise in the current year because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the auditors have had to assess whether the judgements we make on future revenues are reasonable based on the current information available. We are pleased to say that they have supported our view and so the Board was able to approve the report and financial statements as presented.
With the national lockdown restrictions having been lifted on Wednesday 2 December 2020, the Board heard from James Kendall on how we have worked with the County FAs, leagues and clubs to support the game in both a financial and advisory capacity and how grassroots football can return in the new tiered system, with guidance having been published through our website.
The situation remains both complex and dynamic and it is important that we also consider the longer term implications for the 2020-21 season and the support needed to help the game recover from impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Board received a further update from Kathryn Swarbrick, Director of Commercial and Marketing Director, and Georgina Lewis, Head of Marketing, on a review of our branding. The Board looked in particular at how specific activities of ours will be branded in the future and we will update the FA Council on this in the New Year.
Rachel Brace, director of HR, updated the Board on the plans and provisional timeline as we commence the recruitment of our new Chair. Kate Tinsley, Independent Non-Executive Director, will chair the Nominations Committee to lead on this and we have appointed Egon Zehnder as our recruitment partner.