Six Month Progress Report
I have been in post now for just over six months and so this Blog reflects on what has been achieved so far and identifies priority actions for the next few months.
Organisational Development – Human Resources
In the last six months the staffing compliment of the HKFA has been significantly increased thanks largely to the Project Phoenix funding allocated by HAB. Some key appointments include:
· Coach Education Manager
· Women’s Football Manager
· Grassroots Football Manager
· Referees Manager
· Futsal Manager
· Head of Corporate Governance
· Head of Marketing and Communications
· Assistant Manager – Marketing & Communications
The Head of Corporate Governance started with the HKFA on 20th February and is already having a significant impact. The Marketing Team is now at full strength with one incumbent confirmed in post and one additional vacancy filled. There has been a notable increase in marketing and promotional activity.
The HKFA Man Power Plan was submitted and approved by the Football Task Force in March. As a result three new positions including a Representative Teams Manager, have been advertised and are being recruited as we speak.
The Organisational and Development Committee (ODC) is overseeing a harmonization programme which aims to reduce the real and perceived differences between the HKFA employees not covered by the HAB funded Project Phoenix and those employed with the subvention. A series of staff seminars is taking place to introduce the process and timescale to staff to ensure their continued motivation and commitment.
The ODC is also overseeing a review of the HKFA’s internal systems, procedures and protocols with a view to ensuring that they comply with best practice and that they are as administratively efficient as possible.
The Acting Head Coach continues to perform his duties diligently and effectively. The away draw in Malaysia and the good showing in the EAFF Cup 2013 were built upon by an excellent 0-0 draw away in Uzbekistan. This performance was at least matched in an exciting home 1-0 win over higher ranked Vietnam. This match was played in front of a capacity crowd at the Mong Kok stadium.
The players received their new bonus payment based on HK$10 per FIFA World Ranking points. This new system has been well-received by all parties.
The HKFA is attempting to arrange friendly matches as part of the preparations for the competitive Asian Cup qualifiers in the Autumn. Hopefully these will take place on FIFA International Match days in June, September and October.
New Professional League
Progress is still being made on the ‘journey’ to a new Premier League in Hong Kong. The HKFA Head of Competitions attended a recent AFC Seminar on the revised criteria for entry into the AFC Champions League (the criteria set as the target for the new HKFA League). The proposals for the new league have been revised based on the new AFC approach.
The General Secretary is preparing a new set of Rules for the new league and these will be presented in draft form at the next Premier League Working Party meeting. In the light of recent developments internationally regarding match-manipulation, this issue is taking greater prominence. Discussions remain on-going regarding the sponsorship and funding for the league with commercial sponsors. This is seen as key to the success of the venture.
Hong Kong Football Training Centre
A Concept and Business Plan has been prepared which has received the endorsement of the HKFA Board, the Football Task Force and the HKJC. Significant progress has been made and we hope that an announcement on the timescale for development will be made soon.
LCSD Subvention Application
A number of meetings have been held with LCSD over the recent months and the discussions have been forward looking and positive. As a result of this growing partnership and the additional confidence that the Government has in the HKFA, the LCSD has just awarded the HKFA a 41.6% increase in subvention funding (as compared to the last year). This level of increase will enable the HKFA Technical Department to increase the number of activities and programmes particularly at the grassroots level.
FIFA ‘Goal’ Project and Performance Project
On 18th March FIFA agreed to provide additional funding of USD500,000 towards the phase 2 renovation of the HKFA premises. The renovation work will start soon and is estimated to take 6 months. Concurrent with this, funding of USD100,000 is also being discussed for various initiatives following a recent FIFA Performance Review. This additional money will be used for new systems and procedures to streamline the operation of the HKFA and to improve efficiency.
Recent Events and Activities
The HKJC supported youth invitational tournament was played at the Po Kong Village Park Road Pitch between 18th and 20th February. The Hong Kong U-13 team played against teams from Singapore, Thailand and Guangzhou whilst the U-18 team played against teams from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The players gained good experience from this event.
The U-20 HK team recently participated in the 12th National Games of China.
Funding support was generously given by the HKJC for the AFC U-14 2014 Championships which took place in Hong Kong between the 11th and 17th April.
The newly appointed Futsal Manager is making good progress in preparing for the Asian Indoor Games due to take place in Incheon, Korea in June. Preliminary squads have been chosen for both Men’s and Women’s teams.
The Coach Education Programme is up and running with massive demands for the new Youth Leader level 1 and 2 courses. Furthermore, different levels of AFC and FIFA coaching courses are also being organized. For existing HKFA registered coaches, an online library is being established and seminars will also be held to reinforce their knowledge.
Preparations continue in relation to the BAT 2013 tournament involving South China, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs and Sunderland. Discussions are now on-going between the HKFA, the Premier League and the British Council regarding the use of the US$100k ‘Good Causes’ fund and in particular how the expertise of the EPL coaches and referees can be used to good effect.
The AFC Technical Director visited Hong Kong between 8th and 10th April to review the new Football Development Plan and the new Coach Education Programme which are being developed.
The CEO, Acting Head Coach and Technical Director continue to be in discussion with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Hong Kong and the Medical Profession regarding an integrated Player Welfare system given the working title of ‘Testing, Training and Caring’. The purpose of this initiative is to develop a more scientific approach to the development of footballers. The programme will include a longitudinal study of physiological testing to establish benchmarks for fitness levels at each age group, the development of a customized athlete training, conditioning and lifestyle plan and agreed levels of care for injury detection, treatment and rehabilitation.
Summary of the Last Six Months
As some of you may know, I have done a bit of sailing and to use a nautical analogy, the past six months has been ‘all hands on deck’. The ship has been steadied, leaks have been plugged and good headway is now being made. Indeed considerable improvements are apparent both on and off the football pitch.
We have laid some important foundations. For example, the staff compliment is almost full now and the work of implementing Project Phoenix can really start in earnest.
The relationship with stakeholders has improved especially with the fans, the media, the Government, the Football Task Force, the Jockey Club, sponsors etc. Feedback is positive and can only improve with a further period of consolidation and the delivery of some outcomes and targets.
There have been significant improvements in the marketing and promotion of the HKFA, its activities and programmes.
Progress is also being made in relation to the large scale projects that are fundamental to Project Phoenix. In particular the HK Football Training Centre concept and business plan has now been accepted by stakeholders as the basis of a plan that can be supported. The proposal for a new league is coming to fruition but the main issue there will be generating sufficient funding to make it substantially different to the existing league.
Additional funding has been levered in most notably from FIFA, LCSD and the Football Task Force. However the financial sustainability of the HKFA remains a priority task. The implementation of Project Phoenix requires significant additional expenditure. Receiving funding for staffing from HAB is important but they need budgets to work with. Finding sponsorship remains a priority action and some of the promising leads need to be converted into agreed sponsorship packages.
In conclusion, I am content with the progress made over the last six months. However, now is not the time to be complacent and I know that considerable further effort will be required if the foundations are to be built upon.
In particular, the next few months will be critical in terms of preparing a realistic budget for the FA, in delivering the major projects including preparations for the new Premier League, the development of the national training centre, the adoption of a new football development plan and a five-year strategy for the HKFA. In addition there are still new staff to recruit and induct, an internal systems and procedures review to undertake and a whole new set of constitutional documents to prepare. This is in addition to the day to day work of the HKFA such as delivering its development programmes, coach education, competitions management etc.
The future success of the HKFA depends on everyone working together in a positive spirit of cooperation.
組織架構的發展 — 人力資源