The past twelve months have seen considerable upheaval and change at Northumberland Football Association, factors both inside and outside of the organisation led the Board of Directors to instigate a workforce review in the summer of 2020, which has now been completed.
The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our upcoming business planning process in line with changes to The FA’s National Game Strategy and our commitment to continuing to improve our organisation ensured that some difficult decisions had to be made, these decisions are being played out in business up and down the land. As key stakeholders in our organisation it is important that I write to you and outline how the Association will be setup moving forward.
As a result of the review, Rachel Carter, Kevin Azzopardi and Scott Flynn will be leaving the organisation in the coming weeks. I would like to thank all three for their efforts and commitment to the organisation during their time with the County FA. We wish them all the very best for the future in all their endeavours.
The below diagram demonstrates how the County FA will be setup moving forward;
The new structure splits the organisation into three defined departments; Compliance (left-side of the diagram), Participation (right) and Business Development (centre).
Northumberland FA is delighted to confirm that Andrew Rose-Cook has been appointed as the Executive Officer for the Association. Andrew has been with the County FA for eight years now and initially began his journey on work experience before undertaking a series of roles for the CFA, his most recent being appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer in November 2019. Andrew brings all his experience and enthusiasm to the role, leading all aspects of the company including safeguarding as Senior Safeguarding Lead. Andrew will continue to have access to the advice of John Topping (Chief Executive, Durham FA) whom he has worked closely since being appointed as Acting Chief Executive, John will continue as the Deputy Senior Safeguarding Lead to provide cover in the event of any absences. The County FA wishes to place on record its gratitude to John and the Board of Durham County Football Association for their continue assistance in this regard.
The Compliance department will continue to be headed up by our Head of Compliance, Angela Forster. As part of the Senior Management Team, Angela oversees the strategic direction of the department whilst crucially satisfying the role of Designated Safeguarding Officer for the CFA. The Compliance Department is completed by Adam Williamson our excellent discipline Officer, recently appointed Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer Ray Johnstone and Ellis Lander whom moves into the role of Football Services Assistant for the department. Ellis’ role has been created as part of the workforce review and he will support the department as a key administrative function.
Since re-joining the Association in November 2019, David Jones has undertaken the role of Head of Participation. The Board have been delighted with David’s leadership of the department over the past 10 months. The workforce review has allowed the County FA to reshape David’s team, this has included David relinquishing some of his operational responsibilities for the male pathway, whilst undertaking some prioritised functions of our facility provision. This will allow David the time to oversee and develop his growing team.
As we look forward, the County FA must be setup in a way that ensures it can satisfy its contractual obligations to The Football Association regarding our areas of key performance. As a result, the workforce review has created two full-time Football Development Officer roles. Moving forward they will be undertaken by Nicola Hepworth, who will have an expanded remit of the entire female pathway, futsal and recreational football. And Gary Middleton, whom joined the Association earlier this year who will have responsibility for the male pathway and our coaching provision within the county. The CFAs disability football provision will continue to be overseen by Chris Kilburn on a part-time basis.
Our strong working relationship with Durham County Football Association is further demonstrated by the appointment of Alex Clark as Referee Development Officer. Alex will split his time between both offices however he will provide a full-time service for both County FA’s. To help with the workload, Northumberland FA will also have the continued assistance of Lee Scott (League Secretary, Northumberland Football Leagues) who provides a key link into the experiences of under 18 referees. The continuation of this role in agreement with Northumberland Football Leagues is greatly valued and appreciated.
Finally, Lynn Barber moves into the role of Football Services Assistant to mirror the support that Ellis Lander provides the Compliance department and will become a valued member of the Participation department.
With Andrew moving into the role of Executive Officer from Commercial Manager, a key decision of the workforce review was how the County FA could continue to maximise its commercial value. This led to the creation of a full-time Marketing and Partnerships Manager. We are delighted to announce that Helen Beales, who has become a vital member of the team over the past year, will move into the position which combines her previous part-time Marketing and Communications remit with managing our key partnerships. Helen and Andrew will continue to work closely to ensure the Business Development department grows from the foundations laid over the past two years.
The Board of Directors are delighted with the progress which has already been evident over the past ten months, we are sure that even in the face of an ever changing and challenging environment that the County FA will continue to improve and succeed.
Finally, I hope that all participants of the game in Northumberland and their families continue to be safe as we face the uncertainty and at times despair of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that football can continue to provide welcome relief to the pressures of the pandemic.
Please stay safe and look out for one another.
Chair of the Board of Directors
Northumberland Football Association Limited