Coaches vent their fury over Suffolk FA pay cut

Danny Laws

Danny Laws - Credit: Andy Abbott

Some of Suffolk’s top football coaches have hit out at the county’s FA after remuneration packages for their services were slashed.

Rob Munro coaching football in Gambia.

Rob Munro coaching football in Gambia. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk FA chief executive Laura Smith wrote to all Suffolk Coach Education, First Aid, Welfare and Safeguarding tutors at the end of August to inform them, “that with immediate effect, the fees provided to all coach education, first aid, welfare and safeguarding tutors who deliver courses and workshops on behalf of Suffolk FA will reduce from £25 to £20 per hour.” – A cut of 20%.

It has left many coaches and tutors in the county angry and disappointed.

“It’s a disgrace,” said UEFA A coach Rob Munro, who has worked with Suffolk FA, delivering a wide variety of courses, for 15 years.

“People at the FA go on about grassroots coaching and how important it is and then treat coaches, who have put money and time getting themselves to a point where they can coach the next generation of coaches, like this. Rather than just a bland e-mail from Suffolk FA telling me this news, why didn’t the county get the coaches together to see if there was anything we could do?

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“Perhaps we could all have taken a pay cut, including those at Suffolk FA.

“I won’t be working for them and I know many coaches who have said they won’t either.

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“It’s a big shame.

“Coaches like myself and Danny Laws have spent thousands getting our UEFA A licences.

“We’re experienced coaches and proud we’ve helped so many others.

“And it’s not just our coaching time we get paid for when working for Suffolk FA.

“We provide our own balls and kit, prepare sessions. But you don’t mind, because you like coaching.”

Laws, like Munro, a UEFA A coach and highly-respected in the game, admitted: “I’m not taking a 20% cut in my remuneration to coach.

“Ironically I don’t actually do it for the money to be honest but to cut it by that amount is just taking the mickey.

“I like to think I’m sharing my experience of what I have gained coaching for all these years with young coaches. It’s worthwhile.

“How the FA as an organisation can talk about the importance of coaching grassroots and then do this, I don’t know. Hopefully Suffolk FA will find the money to change this because I enjoy coaching and like to think plenty of people have learned a lot from me over the years.”

Chief executive Smith said: “In July we received the disappointing news that £65,000 of funding we were expecting to receive from a local training provider was no longer being made available to us this season.

“In previous seasons, this funding has enabled the County FA to provide the wide variety of coach education courses that we offer the grassroots football family at a fantastic rate. It has also meant we were in a position to pay the FA tutors a very attractive rate of pay.

“The loss of this government funding has been widespread across the country and has hit many county FAs, some of whom have also reduced tutor fees, hard.

“However, here in Suffolk we are determined to provide the coach education opportunities at an affordable and accessible rate despite the loss of funding.

“We are extremely grateful to the tutors who have been so understanding regarding this issue and look forward to working with them throughout the 2015/16 season.”

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