The UEFA HatTrick scheme continues to develop apace, the XXXIII Ordinary UEFA Congress learned on Wednesday, with more funds available to national associations and the programme involved in a greater sphere of activity than ever before.
Promote and develop
HatTrick was established in 2004 to help promote and advance the European game and aid national associations in upgrading their football infrastructures on and off the pitch. The scheme's first four-year cycle, HatTrick I, came to an end on 30 June 2008 and HatTrick II, which runs until 30 June 2012, is already having an impact across the continent. So far 47 projects have been approved with €50m earmarked for the national associations. A further 15 associations have projects in the pipeline or awaiting approval.
UEFA General Secretary David Taylor presented the three pillars of the HatTrick programme – solidarity payments, investment projects and education – and updated Congress over the funds available to each association. Solidarity payments now amount to a maximum €1.3m a year to each national association over the four-year period, an increase of €800,000 per association per year since 2004. Solidarity payments include €500,000 to cover running costs with a further €800,000 available for UEFA development and incentive schemes. These are the improvement of good governance; participation in the UEFA Grassroots Charter, UEFA Coaching Convention and non-top UEFA competitions (such as youth, futsal and women's competitions); and implementing UEFA's Club Licensing scheme.
A sum of €2.5m is accessible over the four-year cycle for each association for investment projects while €25m in total has been set aside for educational projects including UEFA's Knowledge Information Sharing Scenario (KISS). KISS seminars and workshops have been held across Europe and technology is also being harnessed to create virtual communities so that national associations can work together to develop best practice in a variety of fields related to football operations, governance and development.