Oliver Selfe, CEO Wiltshire FA, Wiltshire Football

An update from Oliver Selfe, CEO

A message to members from Oliver Selfe, Chief Executive Officer, Wiltshire FA

Dear members,

I want to make you aware of a couple of significant changes that are occurring at Wiltshire County Football Association in the coming months.

Firstly, after nine loyal years’ service to the Association, Clive Archer will be stepping down as Chairman. Those of you who know Clive will be aware that season 2023-24 was always going to be Clive’s last in his role as Chair, since he has fulfilled his full-term.

On behalf of the Wiltshire FA Board and paid executives, I would like to recognise Clive, for his dedication to the role, during which he has played a fundamental part in transitioning the company from a small business unit in Swindon, to a new state of the art football hub HQ in Devizes. I am sure that in due course, Clive will issue some communication and reflect on his time at Wiltshire FA, however the immediate priority is to put the wheels in motion with the recruitment of the new Chair

On a related note, I have also taken the personal decision to resign as CEO in early 2024 and this is a decision which is both personal and professional. With a new Chair imminent, it seems like the ideal time to hand over the reins to a new CEO. Additionally, the organisation will be commencing the design and implementation of a new strategy for grassroots football next year, which will operate from 2024-28, and the new Chair and CEO will be able to lead this process together from the start.  From a personal perspective I intend to take a short break, since it’s been a busy five years, and then pursue a new venture.

When I joined Wiltshire FA in 2018, the plan was clear, within 3-5 years, deliver the following key work objectives, as agreed with the Directors.

1. Lead the organisation to relocate to a brand-new football hub HQ.

2. Lead the team to write and deliver a new company strategy 2021-24 and meet the key participation targets within The FA Grassroots Strategy for Wiltshire.

3. Enhance the image of the Wiltshire FA, through a new marketing and communications strategy.

4. Diversify income streams to support the organisation to be more financially sustainable and less reliant on central FA funding.

5. Continue the great work started by my predecessor Kirsty Frior, to support the restructuring of the company corporate governance, as per the memorandum of the association.

6. Ensure that safeguarding remains the number one priority and that the organisation successfully achieves The FA 365 safeguarding standard.

At the time I recall thinking these are ambitious objectives; however, I had no idea that I would also have to implement these changes whilst contending with the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent financial uncertainty that resulted.

As I start to reflect on the work we have achieved and the positive change that has happened across grassroots football in Wiltshire, I feel an enormous sense of pride that I was entrusted to lead the organisation and that collectively we have managed to achieve the above and so much more.

In addition to achieving the above, my personal highlights as CEO have been, Wiltshire FA becoming the first County Football Association in England to achieve The FA Code of Governance. Developing the first Inclusion & Diversity Action Plan and achieving the foundation and preliminary level of the Equality Standard for Sport. Relaunching the Premier Shield with the final played at the County Ground and reintroducing our Grassroots Football Awards. I would like to thank everyone who played a part in making this happen.

I will be leaving Wiltshire FA early next year (precise date TBA) knowing that the organisation is in safe hands, with a committed and united paid workforce and an experienced Board of Directors, being led by a new Chair and CEO.

Please note: The CEO recruitment pack is due to go live soon with interviews planned for December. Please keep an eye on the website for details.

There is plenty of time for me to catch up with people before I go, however I would like to close this update by thanking everyone who has supported me over the last 5-years.

Best wishes,

Oliver Selfe

(Outgoing CEO, Wiltshire FA)