Commission proposes £230m investment in facilities

Friday 10 Oct 2014
Kids train at the FA pilot U-Mix Centre in Sheffield
FA Chairman Greg Dyke says heavy investment in grassroots facilities in this country is required if the fortunes of the England Senior Men’s team is to improve.

Dyke launched the second part of his Chairman’s England Commission report on Friday with one of the proposals being a £230m cash injection over five years – as part of a plan to swell the number of artificial grass pitches (APGs) across the country by 130 per cent to over 500.

The new pitches would be based in 'football hubs' across 30 cities including Sheffield.

Dyke said: “When you look at the facilities in Germany and the Netherlands, we think we are behind in this country."

“It needs to change. Local authorities are under enormous pressure. The great advantage of these artificial pitches is that you can play 80 hours a week.

Greg Dyke chats to kids in Sheffield

Greg Dyke chats to kids in Sheffield

“We have a big problem in grassroots football because of facilities. I wouldn’t say it’s at crisis point but we have to do something about it.”  

The report states that The FA cannot fund the development alone, but Dyke is confident other bodies will support the proposals. 

“It is expensive, but if we can get it done, it will make a big difference”

Greg Dyke FA Chairman

“We are hoping the Government and local authorities will give us some money. We hope the Premier League and private sector will put some money in," he said.

“The Premier League already puts money into facilities and we just hope they put some more in.

“We are starting with this pilot scheme in Sheffield before going onto Liverpool and Birmingham.

“It will be the local authorities who are the most enthusiastic. It might cost them money in the beginning but it saves them money over time.”

He added: "It is expensive, but if we can get it done, it will make a big difference.”

Click here to read Part Two of The FA Chairman's England Commission report

By FA Staff