Wednesday 15 October 2008
The Premier League, The FA and Government's eight year partnership to support grass roots football through the Football Foundation and Football Stadia Improvement Fund has hit a landmark £1 billion worth of projects.
Former Wimbledon and Jamaican international midfielder-turned TV pundit Robbie Earle welcomed the £1 billion landmark for grass foots football funding that has just been reached in this country.
The Football Foundation and its partner organisation, the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), were both established in July 2000 and have now invested £435m into nearly 8,000 projects and attracted match funding of more than £687m.
The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports charity and each year invests £40m provided by the Premier League, The FA and Government into building better community sports facilities and programmes that increase participation and tackle a range of issues from obesity to cutting crime. The FSIF continues the work of the Football Trust by providing £5m each year towards the cost of football stadia for Football League and Non League football clubs.
Robbie Earle, said: “The Football Foundation and FSIF investing in projects worth £1 billion has made a massive difference to communities across the country. It is enabling more people to play, not just football, but a range of sports in state-of-the-art facilities.
“There is a long way to go to bring our local sports infrastructure up to the standard that people on the continent enjoy but this is a major first step.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation and the FSIF, said: “We have worked hard to reach this £1 billion landmark in just eight years. Local grass roots sports facilities across the country are generally in a poor state and the Premier League, The FA and Government deserve huge credit for joining forces to tackle decades of underinvestment by funding the Football Foundation and FSIF.
“In order to meet the challenge of increasing participation in sport it is essential that we continue to build better facilities. Our research shows that participation in grass roots football has increased by an average of 21% across Football Foundation funded facilities, with an average 14% increase in participation in other sports. With a healthier, more active population, we will also be better placed to address other issues, such as the increasing trend of obesity.”
Watch the video footage of the webcast with Robbie Earle and Paul Thorogood in the player below.