'Respect' not working for half of football community

Less than half of Respect logothe grassroots football community have witnessed an improvement in behaviour in matches since the Respect programme was introduced, a Club Website poll can reveal.

51 percent of Club Website users, including a significant number who have been playing under Respect guidelines, said that behaviour had been 'no better' since the programme was introduced by the English FA at the start of the 2008/09 season.

49 percent of respondents said that they had witnessed an improvement in their matches over the same period.

Food for thought

Whilst the overall figures show a fairly even split regarding the programme's success, further analysis of the results provides food for thought for the FA.

Interestingly, of the 51 percent of people yet to witness an improvement in behaviour at grassroots level, a third of these (17.6% of the overall sample) have actually been playing games employed under Respect guidelines!

This raises questions about how well the programme has been implemented at grassroots level in England. Are some clubs simply not adhering to codes of conduct?  Are all referees controlling the game as requested?

Are pre-match meetings between captains, managers and referees happening? Maybe the pre-match 'Respect handshake' has been dropped since swine flu honed into view?

Without wishing to make light of the situation, it would be interesting to hear what detailed results the FA have obtained on the programme to date.

Poll - Respect

They have been making positive noises about its success but we're yet to hear any real detailed analysis about what's working and what isn't.

Positive note

On a more positive note for the governing body, of the 49 percent of people responding positively to the survey, over a quarter of these (14% of all respondents) had witnessed an improvement in behaviour despite not playing under official Respect guidelines.

This indicates that simply raising awareness of the issue by introducing Respect has improved behaviour in areas wider than those centrally targeted, which must surely please the FA.

What do you think about the success of the Respect programme to date?  Have your say in our comments field below.

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Club Website poll result:

Has the Respect programme had a positive influence on behaviour in your grassroots football matches?

- Yes. We play officially under the Respect banner and behaviour has improved. 34.6%
- No. Behaviour is no better than before Respect came about. 33.6%
- No. We even play under the Respect banner and things are still no better!  17.6%
- Yes. We don't play officially under Respect rules, but behaviour has improved since it started. 14.2%

Total votes: 4,408

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