Footie is relegated as FA keeps its eye on the ball

Staff at the Football Association (FA) no longer care about ‘flat back fours’ and ‘offside traps’, but are focused on the job at hand, delegates heard.

The culture change at the FA, the result of a massive structural overhaul initiated by former chief executive Adam Crozier, has moved employer branding to the top of the agenda, head of HR Paul Nolan revealed.

“Our employer brand used to be about football, but now it is about the job itself,” he said. “People care about their jobs and not offside traps and flat back fours.”

In the 1990s, the FA was perceived as a bureaucratic, slow-moving organisation run by men in blazers, but the shake-up, which began in 2000, has changed the face of the body, Nolan said.
“We have changed two-thirds of our people since 2000,” he said. “We knew very early on that if [the restructuring] was to work, we needed to change the people. It is a key strategic driver.”

HR does not get directly involved in the hiring and firing of the FA’s most high-profile post – England coach – but policies will play a role in the succession of Sven Goran Eriksson, Nolan said.

“On the football side of things, we have put a pyramid structure in place for coaches, which will hopefully mean our next coach is home grown” he said.

“We focus on the same things that all organisations do, such as leadership, and being able to make decisions under pressure.”

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