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Sport England Cuts FA Grassroots Funding

Thu 27th Mar 2014 | Money & Finance

The latest round of cuts by Sport England will see the Football Association (FA) lose £1.6m of funding for grassroots football.

The FA has been informed that Sport England is to cut a total of £1.6m from its £30m grassroots funding for the next three years. 

With a number of external factors impacting on the sport's ability to grow participation in the 16-25 and over-25 age groups, Sport England has redirected a portion of funding into other football projects.

FA general secretary, Alex Horne expressed his disappointment at the announcement, stating “It’s naturally disappointing to learn that Sport England is cutting its funding to football especially at a time when the challenges faced by the grassroots of our game are so acute.

“It is especially disappointing as Sport England agreed and began funding our joint plan only in August last year, and today’s decision is based on measurement undertaken just two months later in October. It will not however deter The FA’s continued extensive financial commitment to the grassroots of the game of which this is only one element.

“Grassroots football is played on facilities almost exclusively owned and maintained by local authorities. 

"A combination of severe weather, increased pitch hire costs and reduced maintenance spend has made this a very difficult time for clubs seeking to complete their fixtures and for individual players to value and enjoy regular football. 

"This challenge – to ensure a much better provision of quality affordable grassroots facilities – is one we are determined to address.

“As a not-for-profit organisation The FA continues to maintain investments of a £1m-a-week back into grassroots football alone and we believe this continued commitment – which in the last year has seen growth of 1,300 new youth teams formed and playing football – will enable us to transition more young players into adult football over the next four years.

“We will of course continue to work with Sport England to understand the latest participation trends, in particular the desire for more informal and less regular formats in which to play the game. 

"As the governing body it is our job to respond to these changes and to invest in programmes which meet our participants’ needs. We would obviously welcome Sport England’s continued support in this.”

Image: Action Images / Peter Cziborra Livepic

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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