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FA’s new strategic plan includes winning a major tournament by 2024

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The Football Association is targeting a major tournament success for its senior men’s or women’s team by 2024 as part of a new strategy document.

England reached the semi-finals of the most recent men’s and women’s World Cups in 2018 and 2019 respectively, but the FA has now set the ambition of going all the way to spark “transformational” change to participation levels.

It also intends to ensure girls are afforded the same opportunities to play football as boys at school and at clubs, build and deliver 5,000 quality pitches and establish a digital platform to assist grassroots volunteer with administration.

“International tournament success will be transformational for English football and inspirational for millions of boys and girls,” the FA document said.

“Just look at the numbers – 35 million people watched England Men play Croatia in 2018 and 12 million saw England Women take on USA in 2019.

“To achieve our ambition by 2024, we’ll strive to deliver the best possible international team operations, coaching and development environment at St George’s Park; continue to work with our partners in the game to enhance a talent pathway that gives players the best development opportunities; and foster an inclusive and empowering culture among winning England teams.”

England's men's and women's teams both finished fourth at the last World Cups

England’s men’s and women’s teams both finished fourth at the last World Cups (John Walton/PA)

The FA expects losses of £300million as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, but hopes to mitigate that by maximising “the appeal and revenue” of its competitions such as the men’s and women’s FA Cups and the Barclays Women’s Super League.

“We will work collaboratively with clubs, broadcasters and commercial partners to ensure that the reach both domestically and internationally of each competition is maximised, in turn driving revenue that can help to deliver our game-changing investments,” the FA said.

The FA accepts the pandemic may “restrict what it can achieve” between now and 2024.

It is not known when fans will be allowed back en masse to watch England at Wembley

It is not known when fans will be allowed back en masse to watch England at Wembley (Nick Potts/PA)

“No one can be certain when we will once again experience a 90,000 sell-out crowd at Wembley, or courses and classrooms full of learners, or clubhouses bustling with volunteers to support the return of many hundreds of thousands of players that have not togged out since February 2020,” it said.

“Depending on how long this ambiguity remains, it may restrict what we can achieve over the next four years.

“Yet, we remain steadfast in our belief in the objectives outlined in this strategy, even if they end up requiring longer to achieve.”