The message below from the Timperley District League was intended for our managers. It does however also extend itself to parents on touch lines and something we feel that all members attached to the club should read and be aware of.

Importantly, it IS NOT a targeted email at any team associated with Sale United but instead a reminder to all clubs and their associated coaches expressing the difficulties we, as a collective, are currently facing. Ultimately, the respect shown towards one another be it coaches, players, opposing parents and most importantly referees is at an all-time low and needs to be addressed by all clubs.

I must stress again this isn’t correspondence targeted at Sale United but a timely reminder with the current challenges for grassroots football nationwide.

Please do not disregard – It applies to us all.


  • As a coach don’t ever forget why you are doing what you are doing, ‘It’s for the children, not for you’
  • Do you create a safe and enjoyable environment for your children to relax in and enjoy their football and keep coming back?
  • Do you realise that over 85% of the Referee’s that referee your matches are CHILDREN and YOU’ ARE RESPONSIBLE for them whilst they are Refereeing your matches. (Would you want your child to be abused, intimidated and threatened just because they gave a decision you did not agree with? The Referee is someone’s son or daughter, they are often new to the game and will not see everything you see).
  • Are you conducting yourself as a ‘Role Model’? Your children and parents WILL mirror your behavior.
  • As the coach, YOU are responsible for YOUR parents and if YOUR team is reported by the Referee for failing to control YOUR spectators, YOUR teams matches could be suspended and more importantly, it could result in YOUR club losing their Charter Standard or Community Club Award, and if that happens, NO league will accept you next season!
  • Do you welcome the away team players, club officials, parents and Referee when they arrive at your ground, if not, why not? Ever thought of offering them a coffee on arrival, it’s only a game of football, not a battle, it’s meant to be fun.
  • Win, lose or draw, do you thank the Referee (possibly a child) for refereeing the game, if not, why not?
  • The children (that includes the majority of the Referees) come first, its not about winning, its about teaching your children that they won’t win every game, but if they can say to themselves they did their best and ENJOYED, you as their coach have done your job.
  • Keep a smile on your face and ENJOY your football!!!

“Be a positive supporter and help create an environment where everyonecan ENJOY football…..

Support ALL Players AND ‘RESPECT’ Referees’, opposition coaches and spectators”.


From a Sale perspective, the Primary concern we need to understand is that more and more referees are walking away from the game. The numbers are horrific and subsequently forces the home team manager to officiate the game. Not having a dedicated referee brings its own issues when unqualified refs don’t have the same experience – which can often lead to frustrations on both touchlines. This brings us full circle with the need for referees being highlighted further – we need to protect them and support their every decision, unquestionably.

You may not be aware that Sale United genuinely started the Respect campaign rolled out internationally through football. Sounds like a bold claim, but after taking the decision to clamp down on the touch lines in previous years, we handed out placards to all teams, visitors and parents reminding them of their responsibilities. Initially called ‘Zero Tolerance’ Ian Blanchard (Head of Ref Development) learnt of this and after a conversation with Kelly Simmons (Head of FA Development) invited Sale United down to NEC to speak at a conference. It was here the FA were onboard with our idea and ran with it, rebranding it as The Respect Campaign. Indeed, we have a framed message from the FA acknowledging our contribution.

Sale United, with your help and regardless of what other clubs may or may not be doing, expect an ‘above and beyond’ attitude to ensure a safe, friendly and comfortable environment for all our members to play and enjoy their football.

Kind Regards


Head Coach