£200m grassroots boost

Press Releasein Football

The FA has announced its biggest ever programme of investment into grassroots football, £200 million; and a strategy that will set the agenda for the next five years.

On Tuesday FA Chief Executive Brian Barwick, Chairman Lord Triesman and Director of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking will launch a new five year vision for grassroots football, The FA National Game Strategy 2008-2012.

Across the country there are 7 million players, 125,000 teams, 1,700 leagues and over 400,000 volunteers involved in the national game each week.

The FA wants everyone to have an opportunity to be involved in football. We want to help them be the best they can. And we also want to ensure football is played, watched and enjoyed in a safe, positive environment.

The FA has already committed to investing £44 million per season until 2012 improving every aspect of grassroots football. That's a significant jump of £10 million a year and includes a £15 million contribution to the Football Foundation.

We have consulted with over 37,000 people involved in the game to get this five-year strategy right and is the largest public consultation in The FA's history.

There are some challenging targets in the strategy. We rely hugely on 400,000 volunteers to run the game at a local level and need to support them more.

In addition, we will work to improve the behaviour of players and spectators, addressing the critically high numbers of referees dropping out every season due to abuse, as well as providing more support in recruiting and retaining referees.

We will aim to provide a high-quality coaching environment for every player - whatever their age or ability. We will also put the policies and procedures in place to safeguard our young players.

We have already shown that football can deliver against important national targets on health, physical activity, social inclusion and community cohesion. Now we want to challenge our strategic partners to work with us to invest in our national game.

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