BT 4-3-3 Strategy

BT unites Home Nations with 4-3-3 strategy

BT to unite the Home Nations in one of the largest ever footballing programmes to run across the UK in partnership with The FA, Scottish FA, Irish FA and FA of Wales

BT has unveiled its 4-3-3 football partnership strategy to use technology, innovation and digital skills in footballing communities across the UK to help change the lives of millions of players, coaches and fans.

In partnership with each of the four Home Nation Football Associations, BT will help break down barriers to playing or supporting the beautiful game by creating a para and disability innovation hub; launching The FA Playmaker, an official FA entry-level online course; and boosting support for men’s, women’s, para and disability football from grassroots to elite levels.

BT’s commitment will launch a number of initiatives and projects over the five-year agreement with each of The FA, Scottish FA, Irish FA and FA of Wales to deliver against specific goals and commitments for their communities.


Inspiring the next generation of disability players BT will combine the power of its technology, innovation and partnerships and aim to increase national support for Home Nations teams.

Project Swift

A first of its kind research programme to enable those who currently can’t play, to play.

Millions of people are fortunate enough to grow up playing football and dreaming of playing for their country, but for some disability groups there isn’t a form of the game they can play.

Working with leading tech innovation hub, Plexal, within the Here East supercampus, as well as Disability Rights UK and other experts from the accessibility and sport communities, BT will design and develop a new format of disability football for those who can’t play with their bodies, but could potentially play with their minds.

Through this ambitious research project, BT’s aim is to introduce new technology concepts into the game, helping those currently excluded from competitive sport to play, with the ultimate ambition of enabling the very best to potentially play one day for their country.

Content & programming

Raising the profile of Para and disability football

BT is to invest in the creation of inspiring para documentaries and films for BT Sport. The first documentary has been commissioned and will focus on blind football.

This year BT Sport will broadcast the Disability Cup, the first time is had been broadcast live, providing disability football with a live TV broadcast platform.


Break down barriers to improve digital, education and footballing skills in communities across the UK, creating a network of hundreds of grassroots football clubs across the Home Nations.

The FA Playmaker Partnership

BT will be the official partner of The FA’s revolutionary new digital entry-level football course – The FA Playmaker – which launches this Spring.

The FA Playmaker will be free to sign up and available to anyone over 14 interested in taking a more active volunteer role in grassroots football, with a focus on encouraging a more diverse representation of people into football coaching.

The aim will be to create 100,000 FA Playmakers by 2024 and equip them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to support licenced coaches make safe, fun and inclusive football happen in our grassroots game.

The course is made up of five online modules and will take approximately four and a half hours to complete, with learners having the options afterwards to become FA licensed by taking their FA Safeguarding Children Workshop (FA SCW), FA Introduction to First Aid in Football (FA IFAiF), and their DBS.

The FA Playmaker licence will qualify participants for leading roles in grassroots football and within FA participation initiatives – such as Wildcats, Just Play and FA affiliated football.

BT to offer incentive scheme to encourage thousands of FA Playmakers from under-represented communities to achieve their full licence by removing the cost of the additional safeguarding and first aid courses required for supervising under 18s.

Connecting grassroots clubs and communities for increased Digital skills training

More than 200 grassroots football clubs across the home nations will be given a package of BT services and become part of the rollout of the new digital skills programme BT Skills for Tomorrow to turn football clubhouses into hubs for their community, helping to create the best-connected grassroots football community in the world.

The new BT Skills for Tomorrow programme will be rolled out across the UK, starting in March at the National Stadium in Belfast where 50 18-24 years olds will celebrate completing a Work Ready programme, designed to help them develop employability and digital skills.

Community football clubs will become hubs to give those at the club, in the local community and in small businesses the digital skills and confidence they need.

These initiatives will support BT’s wider ambition by 2025 to empower 10 million people by giving them the skills they need for the digital world.


BT will use its digital innovation and broadcasting expertise to inspire a new generation of girls and women to participate in football, on and off the pitch.

Football Mum to Football Manager

BT will bring 50,000 new women directly into the grassroots eco-system via the FA Playmaker online course as well as offering bursaries and mentoring schemes for women wanting to progress in football coaching.

Broadcast opportunities

Through BT Sport’s industry leading expertise, BT will provide an opportunity for girls and women to follow their ambitions for a career in sports broadcasting.

BT Sport will increase its work with female students to offer broadcast training and presenting opportunities to create programming around women’s football.

BT will create more TV and online content celebrating and showcasing women in football to help inspire and educate on the opportunities available on or off the pitch.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, said: 

“Football, like BT, is part of the fabric of our nations and we believe that combining football with the power of our technology, innovation and people will benefit society and the lives of millions of people across the UK over the next five years. We’re using these partnerships to break down barriers and create a meaningful legacy across grassroots, para and women’s football in the UK.”

“This is the start of a very exciting journey that goes far beyond traditional sponsorships and we’re looking forward to successful partnerships, on and off the pitch, with all the Home Nations over the coming years.”

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