The FA’s Respect programme was launched in the 2008-09 season following a build-up of behavioural problems in the National Game.

The new FA campaign ‘We Only Do Positive' is targeting coaches and parents within mini-soccer and youth football. A new strategic approach to the FA Respect programme will see us focus on this important area of the national game over the next three seasons.

In 2017-18 we carried out extensive research in to football from U7s–U18s. This was to understand where Respect should be positioned to have the biggest impact over a mid to longer term approach. One clear piece of insight highlighted is that 9 in 10 children play better with positive encouragement. Research also highlights the negative connotations a negative experience can have on a child.

'We Only Do Positive' aims to promote and educate coaches and parents on their roles in creating a fun, safe and inclusive environment for all the players, ensuring they have great experiences throughout their football journey.

League Statement

It is with regret that after a conversation with our Chairman Dave Keast I feel the urgent need to write this e mail after only two weeks of the Season.  In the first two weeks I have had six different games played where I have received a report about the conduct of either players, spectators and club officials at a scheduled game within the League.  This involves 5 different Clubs within our League and allegations include abuse to officials and Club Assistant Referees, serious and dangerous play, Managers and Parents using threatening abuse in front of players and referees not being respected.

This is completely unacceptable and the League is determined to take action where allegations are proven.

Respect is not about parents signing a form and players shaking hands at the beginning of the game but about the values and beliefs installed in the players, parents and officials about why we play football.  Football rightly is competitive and there are winners and losers however no young person or spectator playing our sport should be subjected to some of the behaviour currently being witnessed.  I acknowledge this is a national problem and the view that until professional players and officials are seen to act correctly what can be done but I AND THE LEAGUE do not share this view as we believe we need to set the example and others can follow.

The League is in the process of setting up three hearings to investigate allegations further and if necessary the League can expel a team from the competition.  Having been involved in a Club structure for many years before becoming involved in the League I am aware of the difficulties Club Secretaries can experience in terms of monitoring this situation and please note that this e mail is not directed at yourselves but at your Managers and officials and I urge you to share this e mail with them.

The League Executive is determined to ensure RESPECT is not just a word and that the League provides safe and enjoyable experiences for its players.  Excuses such as it is part of the game and it is about emotions are not acceptable as other sports, notably rugby, demonstrate on a weekly basis

I trust this e mail is self explanatory and the views are shared by those reading it.  It is written to assure Clubs that the League WILL deal with allegations in a robust manner, referring to Devon / Cornwall FA where necessary.

I trust this leaves everyone in no doubt that the Nash & Co Devon Junior Minor League is determined to make RESPECT a reality and not a WORD.

Finally I do acknowledge that still the vast number of games are played in the right spirit and I received an e mail from a referee only yesterday praising two teams within our League.

Kind regards as always

Mark Rowles

General Secretary