Hertfordshire FA Strategy Consultation 2024-2028

Helping Us to Shape Our Next Strategy

We asked for your views to help inform the development of our next Strategy

You told us what you think about grassroots football in the local area to help us better support, develop and enhance the game across Hertfordshire between 2024-2028

The Football Association and County FAs across the country are currently planning for the next grassroots football strategy that will take us through until 2028. A key part of this phase is to hear as many different viewpoints as possible.

This was a second opportunity for consultation with the game after The FA ran a series of face-to-face events across the country, in addition to a national online survey earlier this year as part of their ‘Conversation About Our Game’.

The online survey was specific to people’s experience of grassroots football in Hertfordshire and giving us valuable feedback about the game locally, showing how we can best support, develop and enhance the game over the next four years.

It was important that we receive feedback from as many people who are active in the game locally as possible and we are pleased to have responses from across every local authority area in the county as well as all age groups from under 18 to over 75.

This included responses from those involved in all parts of the grassroots game, from players, parents, coaches and referees to club and league officials, providing us with a diverse range of perspectives from which to draw insights.

Your view of grassroots football in our county

Some of the headline results are listed below and will help inform out thinking as we outline our plans for the game locally over the next 4 years:

  • 89% rated the general behaviour of coaches as being good or positive
  • 83% rated the general behaviour of spectators as being good or positive
  • 38% of referees reported having been subject to verbal abuse in the last year
  • 74% rated the quality of grass pitches as satisfactory or better

These show that our efforts to create a positive environment for all to enjoy the game are having an impact and that most have a good experience. However, it is also clear there is still much room for improvement and that we need to continue to take strong action against the small minority whose behaviour negatively impact the game for others.

Over the coming months we will be looking at the results from the survey in much more detail and using these to help inform our plans for the years ahead.

We would like to thank all of those who took the time to share their views, all of which go towards helping in preparing our next strategy. The winners of the Nike footballs and referee shirt that were offered as incentives have now been contacted.

A sample of comments as to how we can work to improve the game in Hertfordshire:

“Make sure all clubs are supporting the girls game just as much as the boys game. There are clearly some biases towards male football in some clubs”

“Make more games silent weekends”

“Make clubs responsible for poor parent behaviour by deducting points which would make a difference and stop all forms of poor side line behaviour”

“Instil more respect in the parents. Remind them their behaviour affects the kids”

“Reduce travelling time within Hertfordshire leagues, some matches are very far away”

“Keep working towards a better culture to play the game within. It feels better than a few years ago already in terms of less abuse/anger towards me as referee and more understanding of how difficult refereeing is”