October 31, 2021

To all BCC FC Officials, Parents, Players, Officials, Supporters, Spectators and, Visitors,

It is great for us all to be back into a relatively normal football season, particularly as the weather has held so well for us. Well, until this weekend maybe!

However, there has been an increase in poor behaviour at youth football games in general since the start of this season, both on and off pitch.

This has been observed across all age groups, teams and clubs by BCC FC officials on a smaller scale, and by competition officials at Cheltenham Youth Football League.

Whilst we know that the majority of participants are and will always be examples of good behaviour at our events and fixtures, it remains important to send this note.

It is absolutely necessary for us all, at BCC FC; our officials, players, parents and other spectators, and equally for our opposition teams, to remember that it is our job to enable safe and enjoyable football for the children who take part.

Winning and losing is something our teams do on the pitch with help and encouragement from our officials and spectators.

It is demonstrable that children, and adults too, perform better when they are enjoying themselves – encouragement and praise from the adults around them and from their peers enables this.

It is just as demonstrable that children will make perform badly and make more mistakes when they are unhappy or feel under too much pressure – aggression, criticism and other inappropriate distraction around them will make them feel that way.

We must also remember that the people who act as team officials, referees, and who run the line at our games are an important part of everything we do.

Many are volunteers, and if they don’t continue to give so much of their time, there will be no football for our children.

Many referees are children themselves - the ‘Purple Shirt’ referees – a ground breaking initiative to stop abuse of youth referees, started by our local Cheltenham Youth Football League, and now in place world-wide.

Our membership forms annually contain re-affirmation of all our commitment to the FA Respect behavioural guidelines.

Please be ambassadors and examples for Respect in your own behaviour at our events and fixtures, and inform team or club officials if you witness unacceptable behaviours from others.

We have unfortunately already this 2021-22 season had to take action against club members, resulting in a child leaving the club due to the actions of a parent.

I copy in below a message from Cheltenham Youth Football League for your information.

Unacceptable behaviour can and will be dealt with, and may therefore have impact on individual, teams and the club.

“The CYFL Management Committee have recently discussed the increase in bad behaviour, abuse and violent conduct which is happening in our matches. We are now going to take stronger and immediate action against teams reported to us.

Whether the action is against Referees, Linesmen, Players or other Spectators, as a youth league we are no longer going/willing to tolerate it.

From today, if a match is:

  • Abandoned (other than medical emergency)
  • Misconduct reported to us by the Referee
  • Red Card for Violent conduct, using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or action(s), and unacceptable behaviour. This would include deliberately leaving the technical area to show dissent towards, or remonstrate with a match official. All of these are sending off offences.

Immediate action will be taken.

We expect EVERYONE to show respect to our Match Officials and other Spectators. If you have nothing nice to say don’t say it at all.

Spectators DO NOT have any right whatsoever to shout or approach a referee or club linesman to ask questions about decisions either during or after a match.

We are going to work with our Referees to stop this.

We are here to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for boys/girls to play football, and to have fun and enjoy themselves - this is NOT Premiership football.


Cheltenham Youth Football League”