Mark Ives July 31st 2020
Mark Ives leaves the FA today after over a decade as head of Judicial Services at Wembley Stadium. Mark has proven to be a great ally for grassroots referees and has been instrumental in getting our concerns heard. He has always been very considered and professional in every way. We have had some very strained conversations but he has always been fair and reasonable in his responses and actions.
Mark, who was a very accomplished referee himself and is still a registered referee, has over the last few years been involved in cases with us that have made national and international news, from Ryan Hampson, Max Ormesher, Dave McNamarra, Gareth Carlisle, Henri Ifesi, Fednando Lopez and many other cases that have not made the national press.
We would like to place on record how impressed we have been with Mark in how he has steered a ship through some very tricky waters that has allowed grassroots referee’s have a voice. It is safe to say that without him the landscape of how referees are supported today would look different indeed.
The value of his work should never be underestimated and we, as a registered referee charity, appreciate his personal touch in many difficult situations involving young referees and their parents. Mark gets it and it has always been clear that he is a good man with good intention.
As recently as May he was in contact with us about the changes to the protection of youth referees and how the discipline hearing process was being changed.
Ceri Travers, our Youth Referee Ambassador and Youth league Liaison Officer created a paper that brought about fundamental changes that would not have happened without Mark listening to Ceri’s concerns as a mother of a young referee.
This paragraph in that paper was particularly important to her and other parents of young referees.
- Children aged 12-15 will not be permitted to attend a personal hearing in person, as a County or defence witness or indeed as a person who is subject to disciplinary action. If there is a requirement to attend, then this will only be done via telephone or video conference. This means that a 14 or 15 year old referee who has faced abuse and reported this to the County FA, will not have to attend a personal hearing in person anymore. This will be done via telephone or video conference only. There will still be an emphasis and encouragement for the young referee to engage in the process, so that the right outcome can be reached. We need to do all we can to get justice for those who commit offences against referees.
We for one will miss Mark and hope The FA, like us, wish him all the very best for the future and value his incredible work and his achievements.
Mark we genuinely wish you all the very best for the future and thank you for all your support.
Martin Cassidy CEO for and on behalf of the trustee and ambassadors of Ref Support UK (1171000)