After a decade or more on the RA Board, the last 6 years as its Chairman, Paul will have to step down after the 2021 AGM because he has now served the maximum number of consecutive terms as allowed by our current Constitution.
Under his stewardship, the Association has moved away from being under threat of possible demise a few years ago, to the situation today where it is well on the road to full recovery and a robust future.
Paul’s work whilst on the Board has been phenomenal in terms of both quantity and quality, and he has always led by example from the front, but with an open ear at all times to advice and alternative opinions.
Our relationship with all of our major stakeholders (such as The FA, the PGMOL, the Police, Government bodies, and so on) has never been better, and we are seen by all of them as a reliable and trustworthy partner.
In fully deserved recognition of all this, the RA Board has unanimously chosen Paul to be our next RA President in succession to David Elleray, who retired in 2017 after giving 13 years of superb service in that role.
In accepting his new position, no-one is more aware than Paul of just how hard an act David will be to follow, which is why the post has been vacant for the last 4 years, but the Board is fully confident that we have now made the right choice and that Paul will do the position (and thereby the Association) proud.
By switching from Chairman to President immediately after this year’s AGM at the start of his (initially) 3-year presidential term, Paul will be able to continue seamlessly with the very many time-consuming ”bigger picture” initiatives that he has been tirelessly working on behind the scenes at higher levels, such as:
Government Ministers and MPs about the attitude towards the abuse of referees;
also match officials being regarded as “public servants” in such adverse cases;
the Sentencing Council about court attitudes and actions towards these offences;
the Police taking assaults on match officials seriously on every single occasion;
and realising that these are not just “Football matters” but “Court matters” too;
working with the Hate Crime Initiative being undertaken by the Metropolitan Police;
linking with leaders of other major sports in conjoined action on this problem;
supporting the work and growth of the RA’s own designated Welfare Team;
planning joint action with the Welfare Section of FA’s Referees Department;
linking with our various Charity Partners and adding new ones to the growing list;
ensuring the RA encompasses “diversity and inclusion” in every respect;
also that all minority groups, including disability, feel welcome in our Association;
introducing major RA membership initiatives with Youth Leagues across the country;
thereby reinforcing the view that young referees are the future of the game;
as Press & Media Officer, ensuring our voice is increasingly heard across all platforms;
thereby helping to establish the RA as the “first port of call” on all refereeing matters;
undertaking corporate networking opportunities to increase the RA’s scope and influence;
making presentations on behalf of the Association to individual RA Award Winners;
also representing the RA at events organised to celebrate Society Centenaries;
making regular visits to Local and County RAs to “spread the word” about the Association.
In all of these areas, Paul’s unique knowledge, experience, expertise, reputation and “clout” will prove invaluable as we move forward to an even brighter future.
And in this way, the new RA Board (under its yet-to-be-chosen new Chairman) can safely be left to focus on managing all the many crucial aspects of the Association’s day-to-day activities, which will prove so vital in further developing its healthy survival and robust growth.
We all heartily congratulate Paul on his fully deserved appointment, and wish him every success for the future.
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