Trust v self-interest, old farts and not being able to afford Emma Hayes

Weeknotes February 5 2021

Maggie Murphy
5 min readFeb 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 of people. They cannot or will not understand how challenging it is just to exist as a women in a football space — let alone manage world class stars in world class competitions day in day out. And I can never understand why they are so angry — we’re the ones with something to be angry about!
  • My dad, a relatively new Lewes FC owner, gave me feedback on our Owners’ Townhall which he attended a few weeks ago. He is somebody who has been involved in managing a football club back home and the trappings of football governance that comes with that. Surprised at the diversity and dare I say it, knowledge and competence of our Directors, he told me that he had been expecting my Directors to be “distinguished old men — old farts, older than me”! (Dad is 75)
  • The government has a public call for evidence as part of the review of the gambling act. Specifically, “with growing public concern about the relationship between sport and gambling, we are seeking evidence on the positive and negative outcomes of this relationship to make sure we can strike an appropriate balance in developing policy”. Anyone can submit their thoughts to the review here. Read this evidence page on the Coalition Against Gambling Ads website if the jury is out for you, or this piece on our own website at Lewes FC. And then — take part in the review or donate to one of our charity partners, Gambling with Lives.
  • We need more games! It’s February 5th and we’ve only played 2 games in 2021. We have two games coming up then a gap for 2 weeks. At times, in a league of just 11 teams, it feels like we are play showcase football, not competitive league football. May the WSL and Championship be expanded soon. [Disclaimer: we are very grateful that we are currently permitted to even play showcase games. This gripe pre-exists COVID and will likely continue after].

What I did

  • Had another brilliant coaching session with Chloe Walton. I’ve been doing fortnightly sessions since just before Christmas and I always come off the call feeling like something that has been occupying too much of my headspace has been clarified or unpacked or unraveled and more explicable. Last session she shared a really wonderful equation on trust, which very simply and concisely explained why I feel the way I do when feel friction with somebody. Essentially one part of the equation is unbalanced by another part, or the self-interest of the individual is minimizing all the good qualities, and that causes that feeling of discomfort. Very simply, the equation is the following

This week’s session allowed me to think about the times when one of my values (which are generally understood to be positive characteristics) might actually be counter-productive if I bestow too much weight on it. In this case, the value I place in achievement might actually be delaying a good outcome. I’m trying to design a perfect appraisal and goal setting process, but actually just cracking on with implementing a good one, would already have progressed us beyond where we currently are. Time to cut some slack.

  • I was a guest on the brilliant Unofficial Partner podcast. I mentioned this online but it’s very humbling, and yet validating in some way to be a guest on a podcast you listen to, enjoy and learn from. Feedback has been positive, I hope it reaches audiences that Lewes FC might not always reach.
  • I was reminded last week that I missed off the list my BBC 5 Live appearance. At least I know people are reading these notes — even if they didn’t listen to the 5.50am segment in real time…
  • Took part in the next session to redesign and redevelop the website. It’s looking really good! Watch this space.
  • Set priorities with colleagues in injury prevention and rehab, physical performance, performance psychology, safeguarding and welfare. Each of us have identified three chunky goals and priorities for investment (time and/or money) in the next few months. As always, this team is really switched on about constantly improving, it’s such a pleasure to work with them.

Other things

  • I watched The Battered Bastards of Baseball on Netflix about an independent baseball team that only managed 4 seasons in the 1970s, functioning as a group of radical misfits doing baseball the way they wanted, expected to fail by the establishment but becoming such an incredible phenomenon on and off the diamond (seeing crowds of 120,000+ up from just a few hundred!) that it ended up being forced down and out. It was too much of a threat to the blazers. Yes, some delicious parallels for Lewes to chew over, and a lesson on sports governance and outsiders, but also totally enjoyable, even if, like me, you don’t know anything about baseball!



Maggie Murphy

Chief Executive Officer, Lewes FC. Director of Equal Playing Field. Formerly @anticorruption @minorityrights @amnesty