Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40THE INTERVIEW: MARTIN GLENN onsıde| ISSUE 38 9 So understanding what people do, why they do it and the frequency with which they do it, is important. We have invested a lot into an insight and research function to allow us to do that. We understand a lot more than we did a year ago. So FA reputation amongst individual outcomes is not where it needs to be. We know that because we are able to track it. We understand what is on fans’ minds about, say, England and home-grown players. We are a not-for-profit organisation though. We are supposed to invest in the game, so we cannot spend it all on research. But I think that we now understand many more aspects far better, so we are in a much stronger place. You do not make progress purely by a process of evidencing alone. You also need a gut feel, inspiration and imagination, and you have to be able to blend those elements together. There has been real progress in that. On The FA’s reputation, when I turned up at The FA, I learned a great many things that we do which I had no idea about when I was a civilian. It is really frustrating because we do some great stuff and we just don’t seem to be able to get it over enough in a way that means something to people. For example, there has been absolute revolution in youth development. So taking the question ‘How do we know that we’re improving skills?’ Well, we know that because you can see it through the academies recruiting better players, and when they go in at age ten, they are technically better players. That revolution in grassroots football – where kids were kicking full-sized balls, on full-sized pitches, in full-sized goals – that has gone. And that was not easy, because that is not one centrally-run organisation. That is a set of leagues across the country choosing to do this through working with the County FAs. So our youth development agenda has been – “revolution” is an overused word – but we have achieved a dramatic change there. There is a frustration that this is not really understood or recognised. Equally there is the development of St. George’s Park, the National Football Centre. The number of people that go through the Centre is having a steady effect. So too are the innovations that we have developed around women’s football and disability football. Then there is also the greatly improved financial health of the organisation, since we have sorted our costs out. But you don’t tend to get the credit for that, and you can speculate as to the many reasons why. People who go to football matches don’t care who runs the game. I get letters every week from people thinking that I am Richard Scudamore, talking about Arsenal or Spurs. I don’t think we should expect people to understand how the different responsibilities are spread out. But the research does show us that when people understand what The FA does, they rate us much more highly. This is important, and not for vanity’s sake. If we are more respected by the wider population, then we will have more political clout, which allows us to drive our agenda better. RORY: Are there any lessons that you’ve learned from organisations abroad, or domestically, that you have taken inspiration from? MARTIN: Yes, all good organisations have got a few things in common. I don’t care if you are in football, running Tesco, or running the Government. I think there are a few common attributes to a thriving organisation. Firstly, they have got to have an external outlook. Organisations that shut the outside world out because it is inconvenient, because people don’t like change, ultimately, if they are in a competitive market, they die off. Or, if they are in a non-competitive market, are just seen to be useless. It starts at the top, with a leadership that says, ‘I wonder what’s happening out there? How am I doing? Things are changing, how do I translate that change in a way that doesn’t create chaos in the organisation?’ So an external orientation is absolutely critical. The second attribute that all good organisations have is that they have a real, what I call, a performance management mind-set. They measure things internally in a way that seems to be reasonable, fair, but consistent. They have good processes; people know what a good job is. And then, thirdly, they have an effective culture, where people know why they come to work. They feel inspired by why they come to work. They solve problems – typically, lower down in the organisation – because everyone knows what the mission of the organisation is. And I do not think The FA is any different from a commercial organisation, or the military for that matter. You need to have those things in balance. As part of the re-organisation of The FA, we are having a big culture change. Those are the three building blocks: healthy challenges to what we are about; what we can go and measure; then looking outside, rather than shutting the outside world out, so that we can stay up-to-date and meet the needs of the game as it evolves. RORY: How do you think Leicester managed to achieve their 5000-1 against-the-odds success last season? MARTIN: Through a lot of things. Firstly, credit to how the Premier League works. There is a bit of a myth about them being minnows and having no money, when the fact is every Premier League club has a lot of money. They were well resourced and they used it better than a lot of the big clubs who spent a lot of money on players. I think Leicester obviously needed a bit of luck, but they bought players that fitted into the team, and credit to a couple of people – don’t forget Nigel Pearson got them out of trouble. They won, I think, most of their last ten games of the season. They were one of the form teams in Europe, so Pearson was doing something right. He was very unlucky in terms of the way he left the club, but credit to Ranieri, he did not try and impose a ‘Ranieri-type’ of play. He worked with the system and listened to the players about what was working. I think there is a degree of them making the most of what they had when some of the bigger clubs got less value from some of their investments. Plus, a few people like Vardy and Kante were absolutely on fire. They had a great defensive set-up too. They also had the best fans in the world. The fans would be shouting for them whether they were winning or losing. “LIKE ANY GOOD ORGANISATION, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND OUR BITS OF FOOTBALL BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE.”