Planning is the key to the future success and viability of all football clubs no matter their level, activity or size.
Clubs need to plan for their long-term viability in order to sustain what they already have or to grow.
Planning helps to:
Without adequate planning, the committee frequently only deals with immediate problems and fails to consider future needs.
What is a club plan?
A club plan is a document that is designed to give the club direction in the short to medium term (2-4 years).
It takes into account the internal strengths and weaknesses, the external opportunities and threats, and details strategies to address or build on these.
In general a club plan incorporates:
All the tasks that need to be achieved within the following 12 month period can be separated out of the club plan and placed into a separate document called an operational plan, i.e. those priorities for action over the next 12 months.
Preparing a club plan
Like many things there is no right or wrong way to prepare a club plan. They can vary from a few pages to a fully laid out document with images, charts and diagrams. They will reflect the size and scope of your club.
There are some basics that must be addressed. Ask yourself:
Who should be involved in the planning process?
Try to involve as many people in the planning process as possible. The more people who are consulted in the development of the plan, the more it will reflect the true direction of your club.
If your members also feel the plan belongs to them they will be more comfortable in assisting with its implementation. Invite a group of people to a planning meeting to brainstorm the plan basics. This group should be representative of:
After your planning meeting, the draft plan should be circulated as widely as possible to your members for feedback to make sure that it reflects their needs.
When should you plan?
It is important to set aside time for your planning to ensure it receives the attention it requires. It is probably most economical to schedule your planning meeting with one of your sport’s regular gatherings. This could be:
You will need to set aside a specific timeslot in your schedule (perhaps a day or half-day) for your planning meeting. The meeting should be long enough to develop the basic framework of the plan so the duration will depend on the size and complexity of your club.
Remember, the plan should be reviewed regularly to monitor your progress and make any necessary modifications. The planning meeting should be a regular feature of your club’s calendar.
Download club planning resources