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ESFA Membership Matters

Issue 11 September 2017

Welcome Back!

We start this season with news of funding

opportunities for membership, detailed below. We've also included what we hope you will think are some useful reminders for the start of the season, as well as introducing our new interns. We are continuing to include a summary of Council business in our newsletter, and this is given on the back page. If there's anything you'd like to see in future editions of Membership Matters, please don't hesitate to let us know. In the meantime, very best wishes for a vibrant, healthy, safe and successful season!

Andrea Chilton, Chief Executive


U11 District Football Funding Confirmed

The ESFA has submitted a proposal to the Premier League Charitable Fund for continuation of the U11 District Football programme and the PLCF have confirmed their continued support for this season and for next, although on a slightly reduced scale. Look out for details of the application process at the beginning of October. In the meantime, arrangements are being made for regional tournaments, starting in the south west on 7th October. Good luck to all those entering!


The season opens with news of the investment of £60,OOO into this season's Development Fund. Supported by the FA and designed to support new schools' football activity, the fund opened for applications on Monday 18th September, with a closing date of 20th October. Similar to the 2016/17 programme, the funding can support those succeeding in the competitive application process to create, for example, new leagues/divisions for primary schools' pupils, disability football, futsal or even the creation of new District Associations, where they may not exist. Further details, including full eligibility criteria and the application form, can be found on the ESFA's website development pages. For further details or an informal chat, please feel free to contact Andy Weston or Kieren Laverick. We are grateful to The FA for their continued support.


Aviva have launched their community fund, which aims to support local areas with funding for "important causes" in the community, including those which develop "health and wellbeing". To see if your activity is eligible, and to check their further guidance, please go to Applications for this funding close on October 10th.

The FA has relaunched its "Respect" scheme, with schools again able to apply for grants to offset the costs of Respect banners. Details can be found here:

Sport England have also launched their Small Grants Fund, which aims to support those aged 14 or over to engage in sport. To see if your activity is eligible, and to check their further guidance, please go to

The Football Foundation, in partnership with The FAI has this week launched its Futsal Fund, which includes opportunities for secondary schools to apply for a Futsal Starter Pack. The deadline is 6th October!


At this busy time of year, here's a useful quick reminder of some of the important things/links you might need:

Competition deadline dates can be found on the ESFA website here:

Nominations for trials must be submitted by the 29th September for girls and the 6th October for the boys to regional co-ordinators. The nomination forms will have been emailed over to you - please contact David Ebberson or Sue Gifford if you require another copy.

Affiliations: Associations that run representative teams must ensure that all team managers and staff hold a valid DBS check and be registered on the ESFAs national database by no later than Saturday 30 September. Failure to do so will result in the age group concerned being suspended from all inter-association football.

Sanctions: All Association representative teams and school football teams that are planning a fixture or football tour against foreign opposition must complete and return the Application to play against foreign opposition form' which can be found here.

National Competition Rule Changes made last season and remaining in force for this season are outlined in the ESFA Handbook 2017/18 (page 66) and will are on the website. In the meantime, see below:

  • Select your fixture preference - local fixtures, out of county or no preference
  • The U13 Girls' Cup is now a 9v9 competition (formerly llvll)
  • A maximum of 3 professional club academy players can participate in a Schools' Cup or Small Schools' Cup fixture. There are no restrictions in place regarding the number of professional club academy players that can participate in an Elite Schools' Cup fixture. Schools can compete in both as long as the rules of the competition are upheld
  • A new Under 18 Elite Cup was created last season, which is specifically designed to cater for schools and colleges that offer a football academy programme at sixth form level. Students that have enrolled at the school or college as part of a football academy programme are ineligible to participate in 'normal' Under 18 Schools' Cup or Under 18 Colleges' Cup (see competition rules)
  • Player registration will be instigated free of charge at the last 64 of each competition (last 32 for the smaller competitions). This will hopefully alleviate any issues regarding player eligibility
  • We have created a new Under 18 Schools' Cup for B Teams for 2017-2018

Insurance: a copy of the Association insurance certificate can be downloaded here

Girls' representative football: the arrangements made with The FA for jointly managing the pathway for talented girls remains in place this season. This means that schools' football takes priority on the second weekend of the month, and those trialling/playing for CSFAs must be released by the RTC, providing that the Association has given the RTC at least 14 days' notice of the County fixture. Please work in partnership with your local club to comply with these arrangements, and raise any specific concerns with the CEO at the ESFA.

Safeguarding: refresh your memory about ESFA policy with the extensive guidance provided at

And finally, remember that, after 15th October, the old £1 coin will no longer be legal tender and will not be accepted by your bank, so don't accept this as payment at any of your events.

REMEMBER... the ESFA AGM takes place in Stafford on Saturday 25th November. If you haven't already, please determine who from your Association will be representing you so that we can collate names when papers are issued and names of confirmed attendees are sought



The ESFA welcomes three new voluntary interns to its head office in Stafford:

Josh Thornton joins the ESFA for his placement year whilst studying for his BA (Hons) in Sports Management at Coventry University, where he has been involved in voluntary work for cricket, rugby and football Josh says "I've loved my time here so far and I look forward to seeing through the rest of the season'.' Josh will undertake a number of duties as part of the National Competitions Department, including U12 indoor football fives and the boys' U14 and U15 national competitions.

Ross Deakin also joins the ESFA for his placement year, as part of his BA (Hons) in Management and Entrepreneurship at Lancaster University Management School, during which time he has continued to volunteer at his primary school as a sports day organiser, having formerly volunteered in after school sports clubs there. Ross says, "l am delighted to join ESFA and hope that I'll learn a great amount during my time here'.' Ross will be responsible, amongst other things, for the Danone U11 competitions along with the boys' U12 and U13 national competitions.

Andrew Ellery joins the ESFA for a one-year internship following his graduation from the University of Edinburgh, where he successful completed his honours degree in Sport and Recreation Management. As well as being a keen football historian, Andrew has engaged in voluntary work to support both curling and golf. Andrew will, amongst other duties, lead on our social media profile and our communications calendar, supporting the marketing requirements of our sponsors. Andrew comments on his internship "l am pleased to join ESFA and hope to build my experience in this organisation"


If you haven't already, read the article written by Mark Hignett, Council Member for the Midlands, written for the School Sport Magazine and appearing in their issue 66. A copy can be found in the "Membership Matters" section of the resources page of our website, here:


At the opening meeting of the season, the Chairman welcomed back members and thanked the outgoing Chairman for his leadership last season.

Members were informed that a number of County administrator posts had been approved by Trustees through the summer, with only 10 CSFAs now not having applied or expressed an interest. Trustees also confirmed the continued sponsorship from PlayStation, Danone, Premier League, Pendle, Inspire Sport, Mark Harrod, the PFA and Pass4Soccer, as well as the confirmed support from 247TV, British Heart Foundation, Koolpack, 353 Photography and Impact Trophies.

Council held further discussions with regard to the unfilled and pending vacancies on Council, with concern expressed about the lack of nominations. Council approved a recruitment campaign to stimulate interest, without changing any eligibility criteria or the nominations process, and agreed that stimulating volunteers for Council and for local activity should form the basis of the workshop at the forthcoming AGM. Council welcomed the nomination made by the Honorary Auditors to the post of Independent Council Member (ICM) from a strong field of applicants.

Council then approved the terms of reference for the three new committees of Council: Representative Football Committee, with the remit to "direct and support matters relating to managing, running and delivery representative football"; National Competitions Committee, with the remit to "direct and support matters relating to managing, running and delivering national competitions"; and the Association Development Committee, with the remit to "direct and support matters relating to increasing, sustaining and developing footballing opportunities in a well governed environment! Council noted that each Committee had representation from each of the ESFA's four areas (where all Council seats were filled), with Trustee representation also spread across Committees. Committees then went on to select their own Chairs, with Phil Harding chairing Rep Football, Stuart Botham National Competitions and Mike Spinks, Association Development, Council further approved the terms of reference for the Marketing Advisory Group, a fixed term group aimed at providing Council with specific expertise to support the PR agenda. Council nominated a rep from each region, along with the ICM and the FA rep, to serve as Appeals panel members: three nominations were received to act in the capacity as a temporary Sanctions sub-committee.

The Representative Football Committee shared with Council that conversations with The FA had confirmed that arrangements for managing girls' rep football remained the same as per 2016/17, with rep football taking priority on the second weekend, provided that 14 days' notice of fixtures had been given. Members were reminded that any breaches of this arrangement must be reported to the ESFA Chief Executive who would follow up with appropriate FA personnel. Consideration was also given to the venues for the international programme, with the John Read Trophy being confirmed at Stafford Town. Negotiations were underway for the boys' home fixtures, with announcements expected imminently.

The National Competitions Committee informed Council that competition entries were down by just over 200, with some entries still to be confirmed. A toolkit for support for those hosting local and regional ESFA Danone Nations Cup, proposed by the ESFA, was being considered by Danone,

The Association Development Committee considered and recommended to Council the criteria for the 2017/18 development funding, to be launched w/c 18th September 2017. The Committee also heard that, following the ESFA pilot in the NW, the Whole Game System, the FAS football administration software, could not effectively be used to administer schools' football discipline unless all aspects schools' football (e.g. fixtures, team sheets, FAN numbers) was administered using the system, and agreed therefore that the system could not be adopted at this point.

A minute's silence was held at the start of the meeting, to pay respect to members of the ESFA family who had recently passed away.