'Respect' one year on - is it working?

Respect logoRespect.  It's been the buzzword in football for the last 12 months.

From the bright lights of the Champions League to the nitty gritty of amateur football, everyone's been talking about it... but has behaviour on the pitch improved as a result?

The English FA launched their Respect programme at the start of last season in a bid to stem the tide of 7,000 referees quitting football each year, primarily due to the abuse levelled at them during games.

Supported by the professional game, hopes were high that this would signal the start of a big change in football in this country. The word 'respect' filled the airwaves on football phone-ins, panel shows and in post-match discussions.

With all this chat, it didn't take long for those of us who play the game to get the message - respect the referee.

Now, one year on, we want to find out if respect is on the increase in the grassroots game.  We want to hear what's happening in parks up and down the country.... so we want to hear to from YOU!

Did behaviour towards referees improve in your grassroots football matches last season?

Our latest club website poll revealed that 41% of people felt behaviour did improve in the amateur game last season, while 59% of you think that things were no better.

So the majority think that 'Respect' is just talk at the moment - not followed up actions by action where it's needed.  On the flip side, some 41% of people seeing an improvement is at least a start for what the FA see as a long-term 'programme', not a short-term 'campaign'.

What do you think? Have your say!

Have you noticed an improvement in behaviour on the pitch this season?  If not, what should be done about it?  How can the governing bodies and the football community as a whole improve behaviour in the game?

Whilst 'Respect' is an English FA programme, the issue of behaviour in football is much wider.  If you're from elsewhere in the UK, what are your thoughts on the subject?  Is there need for a similar programme in Scotland or Wales?

We want to hear from you. Have your say using our new comments section below.  We want you to inform and shape the debate on all the big football matters, so let us know what you think!

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