President Gerry McAnaney, Chair Roy Barrett and CEO Jonathan Hill, together with Independent Director Catherine Guy and Vice-President Paul Cooke, launched the Strategy document at a live event from HBV Studios in Dublin and hosted on the FAI’s YouTube channel.
The FAI Strategy 2022 -2025 is available to view and download at strategy.fai.ie
Announcing the Association’s vision and stated purpose to enrich the lives of all through positive football experiences, the Strategy outlines the pillars and enablers that will drive this ambition.
The six core pillars of the FAI for the next four years will be to:
• Transform football facilities and infrastructure
• Drive Grassroots football as the heart of the game
• Nurture Football Pathways for All
• Develop the full potential of football for Women and Girls
• Frame a new future of the League of Ireland
• Build for International Success
The FAI will work towards these goals by:
• Building a best in class, fit for purpose organisation
• Embracing Digital technologies
• Building a trusted and respected brand
• Driving investment to achieve our Strategy
• Developing a collaborative and inclusive culture
Welcoming the launch of the Strategy, FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said: “Football is the biggest sport in Ireland and over the next four years and the lifespan of this FAI Strategy 2022-2025, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to develop, transform and inspire an Association that can unite and deliver across all our pillars for all our members.
“It is up to all of us now to deliver a new and progressive Association, to capitalise on the governance reforms, the transparency and the clarity of thought and vision that have followed the events of recent years. We are now an Association for the future. And to deliver this Strategy, the game needs to come together like never before.
“We must seek to work together, without division or rancour or historical prejudice, to deliver to our full potential in every club, every community, every village, town and city in Ireland. We must give the Irish people a game to be proud of. As we continue our Centenary celebrations of the past 100 years so we should look to the next four years, the next decade and beyond with optimism and determination.”
With the assistance of UEFA Grow in the development process, the FAI Strategy 2022-2025 was formalised following wide-ranging consultation across all levels of Irish football with players, fans, coaches, administrators, staff, parents and guardians, volunteers, media and the general public.
Over the course of the formulation of this Strategy, FAI staff held nine regional Town Hall meetings with affiliates as well as meetings, consultations and in-depth interviews with 44 different stakeholder groups within the game, engaged with over 500 members of the football community, received 40 written submissions from stakeholders across all facets of the game and received and analysed 5,709 responses to research surveys across multiple stakeholder cohorts.
In identifying and addressing the challenges the Irish game is facing and to ensure that the FAI’s priorities are mandated from Irish football for Irish football, the FAI Strategy 2022-2025 document has highlighted 61 key performance indicators including:
- 300,000 registered players by the end of 2025 with an increase of 50,000 female players and 28,500 male players
- 3,000 registered referees and a 50 per cent retention rate year on year of newly qualified referees, 12 months following their course completion
- Commence consultation on the formation of an Irish football pyramid by Q4, 2022 with an agreed and transformed football pyramid structure in place by 2025
- 750 clubs nationwide offering football for women and girls by 2025
- 300 female UEFA coaching licence holders by 2025
- 40 per cent female representation across FAI Board, General Assembly and Committees by end of 2023
- A third tier in the League of Ireland by 2023 and a second tier in the Women’s National League by 2025
- A top 30 UEFA league co-efficient for the League of Ireland by 2025
- Full-time staff targets working within League of Ireland clubs to be agreed
- Academy certification system introduced with the League of Ireland by 2023
- Qualification for UEFA Euro 2024
- Qualification for FIFA Women’s World Cup and/or UEFA Women’s Euro 2025
- Qualification for a minimum of two final tournaments per competition cycle at competitive underage level
- Consistent top 30 UEFA ranking for all our senior international teams
- Consistent top 20 UEFA ranking for all our underage international teams
- Turnover to exceed €50m by end of 2025 with deferred income below €10m and ring-fenced cash reserves of at least €6m
- New football management system to replace FAI Net and be operational by 2023
- New primary partner for Men’s National team to be secured in 2022
- Partnership and sponsorship revenue to increase by 50 per cent by end of 2025
- Young Leaders initiative to be developed in 2022 and delivered in 2023
Speaking ahead of the launch, FAI President Gerry McAnaney said: “The publication of our strategy is the beginning of a new era for the development of football in Ireland, on and off the pitch. Much progress has been made in the past two years to put the Association on a sound footing and create the platform for all of us to begin to think about how football can be developed to achieve its full potential in Ireland.
“As President I can promise that this strategy will be a living document that will provide a blueprint for the development of the game. The strategy includes key performance indicators and targets which we will use to track our progress. We will report to Members regularly on progress and encourage Members to hold the Board and Executive to account for the achievement of targets.
“While the Board must lead on the implementation of the strategy, the ambitious goals that we have set will only be achieved if all parts of the game recognise the opportunity that the strategy presents and work together for the betterment of the game overall. I look forward to engaging with our members in the coming months as we roll out this strategy together.”
FAI Chair Roy Barrett added: “On behalf of the Board I want to thank all those who have contributed in any way to the production of this Strategy which is a most comprehensive and inspirational roadmap for the future of Irish football. In recent months those charged with producing this Strategy have reached out to all strands of the game and engaged with the stakeholders who will now help us to mould the future of the FAI. That work, we can assure you, has the full backing of the FAI Board.
“This is a progressive document and we are now very much a progressive Board, shaped by the recent Governance changes and embracing independent directors alongside traditional football representatives like never before. Thanks to the make-up of this new look Board we believe, we will deliver the change on and off the pitch that is demanded by all our members across every facet of Irish football to bring this plan to life. We are certainly totally committed to this transformation and we will deliver it in a transparent, productive and engaging manner.
“Success on the field is something we all aspire to for all our teams but the success of this FAI Strategy 2022-2025 will be measured in so many other ways. It will demand focus to deliver on the pillars and enablers contained within and we must all be held accountable in that delivery, for the lifetime of this Strategy and beyond. We all owe that much to Irish football.”