The Annual Clubs’ Day took place on Saturday 2nd June 2018 in The Bobby Robson Suite at Ipswich Town Football Club.

 Those attending, just under 80 in total, were treated to an enjoyable day with both excellent presentations and hospitality.

After the welcome of tea, coffee and bacon rolls the day got off to a great start with Baroness Sue Campbell, former Chairman of UK Sport and currently The FA’s Head of Women’s Football.  The theme of the presentation was how to get the best out of people and Sue used many examples of her personal experiences as a school teacher, international netball player and athlete, as well as her business life.  Topics covered included the importance of marginal changes, the culture of change and thinking differently.

Following Baroness Campbell was Mark Bradley from The Fan Experience Company which works with clubs, both in the UK and abroad, in helping them provide a better experience for their fans and spectators.  Although a light-hearted presentation the message was one that all clubs should take note of.  Again the theme was about change, doing things differently, communication, and making your people feel valued.

(Mark Bradley (left) chatting to Ash Slaughter and Claire Davidson)

Following an excellent hot finger buffet Claire Davidson and Ash Slaughter from The FA’s Technology Adoption Team gave a “real time” presentation of Player Registrations via the Whole Game System.  This was a very valuable presentation as the League will be adopting this for the 2018/19 season.  The session covered how to detach players, add new players, players’ consent and league consent.   There followed a very helpful question and answer session. 

Clubs are reminded that they can start to data cleanse now and registrations will start on Sunday 17th June 2018.

The next presentation was made by Jodie Allard, Football Development Manager, Suffolk County FA, and Nick Emery, Football Development Officer, Essex County FA, when they gave an information presentation on fundings and grants available to clubs.

During their presentation Jodie and Nick explained all the funding that is available to clubs and how they should go about obtaining the funds.  They went on to explain that every County FA has a lead person for this topic and all clubs were encouraged to look for opportunities for funding from £250 up to £50,000.

The final presentation was given by Mark Ives, Head of Judiciary Services at The FA.  During his presentation Mark gave an overview of the recent trials for the “sin bins” which were used for dissent by a limited number of clubs during the 2017/18 season.  As well as plenty of anecdotal evidence, Mark showed the statistics from the trial which resulted in a 38% drop in the number of cautions for dissent.  It would appear that there will be a full rollout at grassroots level in season 2019/20.

Mark then went on to show various video clips of match incidents which generated much debate and in places laughter.