May 22 2013 Latest news:
By Nick Garnham
Friday, August 17, 2012
MICK Pearce has spoken of his pride at his five-year spell as chairman of Suffolk FA.
Pearce, who was vice-chairman for three years before that, decided not to stand for re-election as chairman.
He has been re-elected for the past two years, ironically after overseeing a change of policy during his chairmanship which up until 2010 saw the chairman elected on a fixed three-year term.
The 48-year-old, who lives at Lackford, near Bury St Edmunds, has presided over a period of change during his stewardship, with both the Suffolk FA Board of Directors and Council reduced in size.
“The Board of Directors was too big and the Council was not representative of people involved in football in Suffolk. As football has evolved in Suffolk, the Council had not evolved with it.
“Around 75 per cent of the Council was representative of Senior football in the county, and the majority – juniors, youth, girls and women – did not have an appropriate voice,” said Pearce of the 1,500 teams represented by 600 clubs.
The Board has been reduced in size from 13 to seven members, who are all required to have personal capabilities and skills to carry out defined roles, and the Council has shrunk from 54 to 42 while committees have been removed to enable easier decision-making.
“A chief executive is now employed to run the business, although we still need the same number of volunteers to support and help it function. We just no longer needed a committee structure which was cumbersome and an additional layer to the decision making.
“We in Suffolk have been really brave to do what we have done and it is a shame that our national body can’t do the same. I think they need to take a long, hard look at themselves!”
Pearce, who said he has no plans for the future although he will still continue to watch as much football as he can around the county, has some fond memories of his five years as chairman.
“I was delighted when we won the FA County Youth Cup in 2008, and I have enjoyed seeing our clubs move up from the Eastern Counties League to the Ryman League.
“Two years ago Lakenheath won the Cambridgeshire Kershaw League and last year they were runners-up, and I have also enjoyed the success of SIL sides such as Grundisburgh and Woodbridge Athletic, who of course are now Ipswich Valley Rangers.
“Another highlight was the visit to Suffolk last August of FA chairman David Bernstein.”
Pearce’s successor is due to be decided when the newly-elected FA Council holds its first meeting on September 6, while the search is under way for a new chief executive following Phil Knight’s resignation last week.