New Year – Renewed Determination
"一年之計在於春" ~ 又到了回顧過去，展望將來的時候。
I am writing this on January the 1st, -- traditionally the time to reflect on the old and focus on the new. It’s three and a half months since I started as the second CEO of the HKFA. The time between September and Christmas passed very quickly and I am pleased with the progress made. Some of the work done was in the public spotlight such as replacing Ernie Merrick with Coach KIM, whereas some has been much less publically visible. A large proportion of the work done between September and Christmas was about ‘steadying the ship’ after a period of instability and change. Getting to know an organization, its strengths and weaknesses, the culture and complex relationships takes time. I believe that it is time well spent and a commitment that will ultimately yield positive results. And yet I know that people want to see tangible progress and evidence that the HKFA is embracing Project Phoenix.
I would like to reassure the people of Hong Kong who care about football that over the past few months we have laid many of the foundations that will bring about change including strengthening our human resources at all levels.
As we start 2013 now is the time to really pick up the pace of change and demonstrate that the HKFA is serious about transforming football. With the help of my colleagues and other stakeholders I am determined to focus on some major initiatives, things that will really make a difference. These include:
· Putting in place systems and resources to raise the standard of the representative teams
· Rationalizing and enhancing football development at the grass roots and creating pathways to excellence
· Revising our coach education programmes and training a new generation of coaches
· Moving towards a new ‘Premier’ League for Hong Kong
· Planning and delivering a new Hong Kong Football Training Centre
· Improving the standard of refereeing
· Integrating and investing in girls and women’s football
All of the above are important and interrelated facets of the sport and need a systematic and cohesive implementation strategy. At the same time there is also a need to further improve the HKFA as an organization - to continue to strengthen our human resources, to improve the cash flow by generating additional commercial revenues, to enhance our public image and reputation and to communicate more effectively with our partners and the fans.
I firmly believe that the past few months have equipped me with the knowledge and skills to lead the internal and external transformation process. Together with the HKFA Board and my team, we can do it, I know we can. I return from my holiday even more focused, enthusiastic and committed to ‘develop’ the organization and to ‘deliver’ Project Phoenix.
Mark Sutcliffe, CEO
1st Jan 2013