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SBD Global/June 10, 2014/Finance

Grassroots Football In Britain Set For $9.7M Cash Injection From FA, Premier League

Grassroots football facilities across Britain "are set to benefit" from a £5.8M ($9.7M) cash injection, "thanks to the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund," according to SKY SPORTS. The funding, which will aid 67 facilities, constitutes the first investment from the new fund "which will help develop new sports facilities, such as floodlit third generation artificial grass pitches and modern changing rooms." By providing more "high-quality" facilities, coupled with coaching at the appropriate age group, the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund "aims to improve the experience for regular players, while attracting new players to the game." Funded by the Premier League, the FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund "is delivered" by the Football Foundation, the country's largest sports charity (SKY SPORTS, 6/9). In London, Owen Gibson wrote Sports Minister Helen Grant warned English football "it must do more about grassroots participation and increase the number of women around its boardroom tables" and not just focus on "elite success." Critics have said the contribution to the grassroots game is a "drop in the ocean" considering the $9B in TV income the Premier League will earn over the next three years and the $500M the FA earns each year. Grant: "I want to see the game growing, I want to see them increasing their participation figures. In order to do that they’re probably going to have to step it up a bit, which I think they probably accept” (GUARDIAN, 6/9).
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