Firstly, on behalf of my colleagues on the Board, I would like to apologise for the unsatisfactory communication from the European Confederation of Sport Table Football Association (ECSTFA) since its inception eight months ago. It has not been good enough and it will improve.
Secondly, I would like to briefly introduce myself. I am Bob Varney from the English Subbuteo Association and I have recently become the Interim President of the ECSTFA Board after the untimely resignation of our previous President which was notified to the FISTF Board earlier this week. I have a long history in business and more recent experience in professional sport to world class level. Historically, I have previously been Chairman of the English Table Soccer Association (ETSA) and President of the European Tablesoccer Federation (ETF)
The ECSTFA was created by the European Member Nations and recognised by FISTF to bring Europe in line with the other Continents under the Statutes of the world governing body. My colleagues on the ECSTFA Board are driven to deliver excellence and professionalise our sport – with the ultimate goal being television coverage – to truly take our sport to the next level.
As a new Confederation we have zero budget and zero income. Subsequently, we must raise funds to facilitate our aims and goals for the future. The foundation of our culture is to provide excellence and we feel that the players must make a realistic contribution to the cost of this – certainly in the short term until we can establish commercial partnerships. This is very much a ‘chicken and egg’ situation.
The increased Entry Fees for the Champions League and Europa League have caused much consternation among the playing membership. We as a Board accept that we have not communicated the background and reasoning surrounding our decision but remain convinced that a Fee of €10 per person per day is not excessive for a world class competition – and to create a budget for the development of our sport. We have listened to feedback and will offer free entry into the Champions League and Europa League for players from the Under 20 category.
I have had less than 48 hours to communicate with FISTF and prepare this statement, but it is our intention to have a detailed road map on how we plan to invest our budget within 14 days. The cornerstones of our investment will be in professional advertising, marketing, media and promotion, with a modern website and communications strategy; to work with trusted specialist agencies to attract the commercial partnerships that will allow the sport to reach its full potential.
We are actively recruiting additional Interim Board members who share our ambition and vision for the future. We will appoint a Director of Communications to ensure that the miscommunication of recent weeks is not repeated and a Treasurer to ensure financial transparency.
A Congress will be organised to formalise the Presidency and/or new Board Member/s and the details will be published as soon as is possible.
The Board is committed to being honest, open and transparent and seeks your support and understanding as we build and develop a brand-new Confederation.
As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day…
Bob Varney – Interim President
European Confederation of Sport Table Football Association (ECSTFA)