The English Schools Football Association, which governs football in
schools, has appointed French Jones to handle an internal PR
The association is concerned about the possible drain of talent from
schools caused by the newly-launched football academies. These training
camps for under-16s are funded by the Football Association and allow
professional clubs to spot talent.
French Jones will target 26,000 head teachers and heads of physical
education through three newsletters a year. The newsletters aim to
answer key questions regarding the changes and persuade them that pupils
should keep their school teams as a priority rather than abandoning them
for football academies.
However, it is ultimately up to parents to decide how many games their
children play for academies or schools out of the maximum 30 games per
season that children are allowed.
The English Schools Football Association believes that pupils should not
abandon friendship and loyalty to their school for the benefit of
professional clubs, arguing that just five per cent of youngsters
attending the academies are likely to end up being picked by clubs
French Jones could also be brought in to handle external PR, as the need
arises for increased communication between the association and relevant
bodies, including the FA.