FA fixing grassroots problems

The Football Association's general secretary Alex Horne believes there are solutions to any barriers preventing people participating in 11-a-side local football.

Last Updated: 17/03/14 at 13:57 Post Comment

More than 2,500 people responded to Sky Sports News' survey enquiring about the difficulties in participating in the sport at a local level.

The result concluded that more than 65% of respondents said they did not think local councils did enough to support facilities and the costs of low-level football and 83.7% said the FA do not do enough to preserve the grassroots game.

However, Horne is adamant that despite local authorities being under pressure to cut their budgets, he insists they will address each authorities requirements in order to ensure the sport can be played in every local area.

"We're working with 17 county authorities and we're trying to work out where the pressure points are," Horne said.

"We know the pressure points are on local authorities, they are under pressure to cut their budgets so they are thinking about ways to save money and it's costing them money to keep grassroots pitches playing week in and week out.

"We also know that grassroots pitches only get you five or six hours of football a week and increasingly and we are seeing people being comfortable playing and training on artificial pitches.

"We know we only have about 600 decent quality artificial pitches in the country and while the football foundation are building 25 a year we think there is room for more artificial pitches out there."

Horne added that the FA are working with three local authorities on a pilot basis by addressing their individual issues.

But he admitted that with the goodwill the local authorities are showing for this problem and the importance they place in sport the right level of facilities for all can be delivered.

"The important thing is that carefully we are working with three local authorities on a pilot basis to find out what the best answer is," Horne said.

"It's a locally owned solution talking to local authorities, clubs and local schools and asking them how many pitches do you need, where and how many grass and artificial pitches do you need and trying to come up with a solution which is different to what we have now.

"This will be different for every local authority but we believe there is a solution for every local authority that sees pitches in new ownership, a new mix of pitches both artificial and grass so that we can deliver the right level of facilities across the country for people to continue to play football.

"That is going to take a lot of time and goodwill but we're getting that goodwill, yes local authorities are under pressure, but they also recognise how important sport is local communities."

FULL RESULTS OF THE SKY SPORTS NEWS SURVEY

1: How often have you played 11-a-side football in the last six months?

Once a week - 42.1 %
Once a month - 7.7%
Not consistently (now and then) - 16.9%
I don't play anymore - 33.3%

2. What prevents you playing 11-a-side football every week?

Time demands - 20%
Cost - 10.1%
Poor facilities / pitches - 33.4%
Other form of game (eg 5/7 a side) - 11.3%
N/A I play regularly - 25.2%

3.What is the biggest problem facing the future of the grassroots game?

State of facilities/pitches - 44.3%
Cost - 22.1%
Anti-social behaviour - 12.8%
Lack or standard of match officials - 10.1%
Other - 10.7%

4.What would entice you back into playing regular 11-a-side football?

Cheaper fees - 15.2%
Better facilities/pitches - 36.8%
Better match officials - 7%
Different form of game (shorter games, evening leagues, roll in roll on subs) - 13.3%
N/A I still play - 27.7%

5.How do you rate the football facilities in your area?

Excellent - 3.3%
Good - 17.3%
Average - 33.7%
Poor - 29.4%
Very Poor - 16.3%

6.Your local council does enough to maintain pitches/facilities

Strongly agree - 2.9%
Agree - 12.3%
Neither agree nor disagree - 19%
Disagree - 35.1%
Strongly Disagree - 30.7%

7.Your local FA does enough to preserve the grassroots game?

Strongly agree - 3.9%
Agree - 14.6%
Neither agree nor disagree - 26.2%
Disagree - 32.9%
Strongly Disagree - 22.4%

8.What could your local FA do to improve the grassroots game?

Improve facilities/pitches - 46.5%
Lower match fees - 16.6%
Offer alternative forms of the game - 18.3%
Improve standard of referees - 10.1%
Other - 8.5%

9.Do you think the national FA does enough to preserve the grassroots game?

Yes - 16.3%
No - 83.7%

10.What could the national FA do to improve the grassroots game?

Invest in better facilities - 37.9%
More 3G pitches - 28.3%
Better standard of referees - 7.1%
Make game more affordable - 18.2%
Other - 8.5%

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

s that Subbuteo's Shaun Wright-Phillips? Crikey, I thought he'd retired. Although I guess 'Only' QPR is like a retirement home.

duckman
The Earl Grey Gossip

C

an we release him in January?

dhirt11
Gerrard: I would leave Anfield

E

xcellent! Not sure if he is any good as a manager (never thought about it) but the 'headbutt in the technical area' and what he said to Pelligrini were just brilliant, it was as if he was trying to recreate the end of the Alan Partridge Xmas special when Alan punched a man in a wheelchair and verbally abused Tony Heirs.

beachend
Football Managers On TV: Alan Pardew

Footer 365

Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus shrugs off transfer talk

Marco Reus insists his future is the last of his concerns amid reports Bayern Munich want to sign the Dortmund ace.

Premier League: Wenger not ruling out Arsenal title bid

Arsene Wenger is not ruling the Gunners out of the title race despite being nine points behind leaders Chelsea.

Premier League: Diego Costa back for Chelsea v QPR

Jose Mourinho welcomes back Diego Costa to the Chelsea squad for Saturday’s London derby with QPR.

Mail Box

A Detailed Defence Of Alex Song And...

...lots more in a mailbox that takes in Manuel Pellegrini's woes, Steven Gerrard's future, Carlo Ancelotti, Alan Pardew and Alan Pardew's daughter. A fine read...

Is Ancelotti A Better Boss Than Mourinho?

That's one shout in the mailbox, although not as controversial as the mail imploring Jose Mourinho to sign Steven Gerrard in January so he can win the title he deserves...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property