Weeknotes February 5 2021

The Guardian

What I’m thinking about

  • Emma Hayes getting a fair chunk of abuse for saying that it was an insult to consider the Women’s Super League as a step down from men’s football when rumours flew around about AFC Wimbledon considering her for a managerial role. There was also a swell of people, including significant numbers of men (thank you) who supported her publicly. At the same time a number of men, replying to my tweet alone, responded that she was a “stuck-up bitch”, “delusional”, had a “spoilt child attitude” and was “scared of a challenge”. I can’t be bothered to argue with those types…

Week Notes | January 29 2021

What I’m thinking about

  • Funding — Finally we will be receiving some kind of information about the £3 million government survival package for clubs in the WSL and Championship! We have a meeting scheduled on Monday alongside the clubs, the FA, Sport England and a consultancy company about the government package. Split evenly across the 23 teams, this would amount to £130,000 though we expect there will be a small amount to the FA for administration perhaps (and the consultancy company?). This will be a lifesaver, as us clubs have been running full steam since July, incurring all our normal costs, with no income…

Weeknotes — week starting Jan 11

This week has been one of those classic weeks where the best laid plans to do some thinking and strategic work are shuffled to the side as urgent deadlines pop up.

We’re looking to recruit in this window so this week has involved a lot of conversations, discussions, networks. Sometimes things move quickly, sometimes it seems to take way too long, which was part of the Board meeting discussion on Monday evening. Hopefully some news to announce pretty soon.

  • Not me alas, but we run yoga sessions for the first team on Monday evenings, which have gone online. The pandemic…

Week Notes I January 8 2021

Two things on my mind this week —rules and rules.

Covid rule violations

Last month in a single incident, a small number of players broke COVID rules. We disciplined the players involved immediately (although the wrath of some of their teammates would likely have been enough).

In comparison to the international breaks we’ve seen players from other clubs take, the rules they broke (involving households mixing in an indoor space) pale into comparison. I cannot tell you how frustrating it has been as the club’s COVID Officer to hear that other clubs haven’t enforced the rules as strongly as we have, not just…

The week that went from 0 to 100, from lockdown to hundreds of fans being allowed back in.

This weekend — international break — I was meant to be hanging our with friends in Margate. Instead…

Drumroll — I spent a lot of time working with Directors and colleagues on plans to have fans back in next week! Certainly wasn’t expecting this to happen so quickly but we’re in a really good place having done 1.5 pilots already (one full pilot, and all the lead up for a second before fans were banned from elite sport events, three days in…

What I did

  • Dealt with accreditation to our Conti Cup game v Bristol. We had 4 FA officials in on Wednesday, one scout, 4 cameras (one didn’t work), 3 photographers, and about 4 print/podcast journos to welcome in alongside stewards, security, our players and the opposition.
  • Wasted a Wednesday. It’s so hard to focus on other things when an evening game hangs over you. The prep work I normally do first thing on a Sunday morning for a normal kick-off seemed to expand over the whole of Wednesday.
  • Had a check-in call with a sub-group of the Board on one of our 5…

What I did

  • Had a helpful conversation with SEED to learn a bit more about eating disorders. This is an issue that has played on my mind after Fiona Thomas’ piece in The Telegraph on eating disorders amongst WSL players which SEED points out are everywhere.
  • Meetings — on COVID with the FA, with the head of UK Sports Chaplaincy for women’s football, with an agency around a new potential sponsor, and with schools and colleagues on academy plans.
  • Prep call with the team at the Hurracan Foundation, for a charity webinar event next week, alongside JJ Robbie, Mike Geddes and Gabriel Stauring.

Lockdown #2 comes into force, meaning all our junior teams and our men’s teams have their last games and training for a month — whilst the women’s first team face 3 games in 8 days with no change to schedule, as an “elite” team. Written en route to Leicester City for the 7th Championship game of the season. We are level on points, alongside Liverpool who we drew against 2–2 last week.

What I did

  • Tried quite unsuccessfully to concentrate on Monday, the day after the Liverpool game. Hosting home games is pretty heavy-going, and I’m always exhausted the day after. …

It’s been one of those whackamole weeks with lots of urgent things popping up needing addressing, but I’m trying still to make sure there’s time for future planning, otherwise you can get bogged down in just being reactive.

What I did

  • Navigated stormy COVID waters. With infections in women’s football rising (the FA reported 10 new infections this week, up from a previous high of 2), every headache, cough, body ache becomes an urgent priority to protect players and staff. This isn’t going to decline any time soon, but is a huge juggling act.
  • Prepped for our home game v Liverpool. This involved…

The international break means no game this weekend, so a bit more time for thinking and less about game logistics! We have two players away for the week with England U19s and the Cyprus international team.

What I did

  • Enjoyed the buoyant feeling (long may it last) that comes with a good start to the season, 4 clean sheets in a row in the Women’s Championship, with a draw away to Sheffield who remain unbeaten. We’re on same points as Liverpool right now and meet them next week.
  • Caught up with the local police about break-ins, elsewhere discussed carparks, identified a key from…

Maggie Murphy

General Manager, Lewes FC. Director of Equal Playing Field. Formerly @anticorruption @minorityrights @amnesty

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