This is the recording of the webinar with the ECB’s Participation and Growth team last night.
It addressed, to some extent, most of the issues and recommendations emerging from our Network consultation. But some were not addressed completely or in any concrete way, we didn’t get some of the definitive assurances we were seeking and some will not like a few of the answers we did get.
It’s also pretty obvious they either do not know or are yet to develop some of the answers. But there were boxes ticked and actually a lot of information in here, even if some of it requires some rune-reading.
The continual references to 5&6 and 5,6,7 year olds is noticeable. The half-hearted commitment to Clubmark is telling. The answers on the finance model are discernable – it will inevitably be reviewed – but clubs cannot expect the ECB to fully pay for the extra kids clubs take on having already invested millions in getting them in. If you have large numbers and happy with your product (enough to defend from ‘disruptive’ local ASC competition), then maybe ASC will not be for you. And the pathways stuff (around mins 20) was interesting although could be interpreted as setting up the land grab for the next age cohort – evidence the reach out to potential league pilot partners.
So next steps? I think we have a dialogue open. They have our opening position and understand it better. There are clearly areas where they will agree to disagree. But others where I think they are malleable once the programme in clubs is underway and they have breathing space to reflect.