Putting the voice of the child first in football

Friday, December 7 – 10am-4pm

CGM Media Centre, Cadbury House, Blackpole East, Worcester, WR3 8SG

Four speakers

Two discussion panels

Lots of debate on THE burning topic in English football

An all-day conference exploring the positive and proactive ways in which English football can put the best interests of children first in football from grass roots to professional academies.

Rebuilding the Belief 2 is the follow up to Rebuilding the Belief, a sell-out conference held in April 2018.

Watch a short video of the event here.

Read Chris’ blogs:

Why we’re hosting Rebuilding the Belief 2  

Is there a virus in football academies?

Delegate attendance fee: £50+VAT, includes buffet lunch.

Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite. 

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities available 


The English football academy system is broken.

It hasn’t protected children. It causes mental health problems. Fewer home grown players reach pro club first teams than ever and a chasm has opened up between rich and poor clubs.

England’s elite clubs now trawl for ever younger talent without tangible evidence of success and often with scant regard to the welfare, safety and psychological and social impact on the children they seek to recruit and the families they unsettle.

Less than one per cent of players who join pro academies ‘make it’ and many of those who fall by the wayside carry a feeling of failure with them – a process which now starts from the age of five-years-old upwards.

We know the problems. What about the solutions?

It is time for a fresh and positive approach that puts the best interests of the child first not last.

The specific theme of this conference is welfare – whether the game does enough for players and their families, not only when they join a football academy but through preparation for life afterwards, whatever path that may take.

This conference will:

  • Explore alternatives

  • Put the voice of the child first

  • Find ways to make junior and academy football better

Rebuilding the Belief  is also the title of Chris Green’s forthcoming sequel to Every Boy’s Dream (A&C Black 2009), an award-winning book on this subject.



Lee Hagger, pictured right – Academy operations manager at Fulham FC. Lee’s role encompasses the education programme, holistic development/player care, recruitment and helping coaches maximise the players’ potential. Lee, who is in his 12th season at the Fulham Academy, was previously a teacher for over 20 years in inner city London.


Mel Eves, left – Founder of the Sports Parents Association and former Wolves and England B footballer. The SPA provides impartial and informed advice regarding every aspect that a child could encounter throughout their sporting journey, with the child’s wellbeing the overriding concern.


Ernie Brennan, right – Founder of the National Children’s Football Alliance. founder of the National Children’s Football Alliance, which operates in 17 countries across the world. Whilst producing social documentaries, Ernie became inspired to research the need for a children’s football alliance. With 20 years’ experience in the children’s game and ten as a grassroots head coach he continues to facilitate mixed ability football.


Pete Lowe, left – International speaker, leadership consultant and director of PlayersNet. Pete’s track record includes more than 13 years in a senior role at Manchester City FC, where he was responsible for helping to develop an unrivalled talent pipeline that created 39 first team footballers and 25 full international players.

The event host is Chris Green – host and author of Every Boy’s Dream – England’s Football Future on the Line (A&C Black, 2009) – nominated for 2010 British Sports Book of the Year and managing partner of Chris Green Media.



– Sports academics and teachers

– Sports media

– Junior coaches and clubs

– Anyone who cares about the voice of the child in sport  



For further information contact CGM on 01905 754336 / info@chrisgreenmedia.co.uk or send us a message via our contact us page.