Report from The FA Board’s July meeting

Friday 16 Jul 2021
Our Board met on Wednesday 14 July

Our Board met on Wednesday 14 July and set out below are the main discussion points.

A preliminary discussion took place on the events at the Final of UEFA EURO 2020 at Wembley on Sunday 11 July. Mark Burrows, Chief Operating Officer, Liam Boylan, Stadium Director, and Chris Bryant, Head of Tournament Delivery, presented the pre-match planning, how events played out and the proposed next steps. Our Board was fully supportive of a full review of lessons learnt and in condemning those individuals whose behaviour was unacceptable, dangerous and showed total disregard for the safety and security protocols in place.

It is part of our Board’s annual duties to approve the budget for the forthcoming season. Mark Burrows outlined the proposed budget and business plan for the 2021/2022 season. The Board reflected on what has been a difficult season in managing the organisation and game through the impact of the pandemic whilst still delivering some notable achievements such as the Emirates FA Cup, Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship competitions, as well as the launch of the new England Football brand and introduction of a Football Leadership Diversity Code. With the impact of the pandemic still being felt, we are being prudent with our finances and the Board approved the budget for next season.

Mark Bullingham, Chief Executive Officer, and Polly Handford, Director of Legal and Governance, presented to the Panel of the Fan-led Review of Football Governance at the end of June. They provided feedback to our Board on how the session had gone and we now await the interim report of the Panel’s Chair, Tracey Crouch MP.
We have identified further specific areas of research, which will be led by The FA, Premier League, Professional Footballers’ Association and FIFA, following publication of the results of the study by the University of Glasgow into neurodegenerative disease in ex-professional footballers. Dr Charlotte Cowie, Head of Performance Medicine and Medical Insight, led our Board through the areas to be covered by these further studies. At the same time, we are also developing heading guidance for the adult game to complement that previously published for youth football.

The Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship are establishing themselves as leading professional competitions for women’s football internationally. Kelly Simmons OBE, Women’s Professional Game Director, led our Board through the next stages of development for the women’s professional game, in line with the ambition to build the best women’s leagues in the world.

This was also the last Board meeting for one of our directors representing the National Game, Bob Cotter, who was appointed onto the Board in 2016 and has served the National Game well. Bob will also step down from our Council later this month and we wish him well for the future.

By FA Staff