The FA has launched a new report that explores the social and economic value of adult grassroots football in England.
With the game’s governing body investing over £1 million each week into the grassroots game to support the 8 million adults who regularly play football, it commissioned the report, which is the first of its kind for the FA, to set out the contribution of adult grassroots football to the nation’s economy and wellbeing.
The report found that regular grassroots football in England has a social wellbeing value of £8.7bn, with players reporting significantly higher levels of general health, confidence, motivation and trust compared with those who play other sports.
Lower income groups in particular were found to experience some of the greatest quality-of-life benefits from football compared with higher income groups, specifically in their health and confidence levels.
In addition to social benefits, the direct economic value of grassroots football was found to be £2.1bn each year, while the report also found that the health benefits of playing regular grassroots football produces a cost saving of £43.5m per year to the NHS through reduced GP visits alone.
While at a national level grassroots football contributes £10.8bn in social and economic value, this equates to around £211m in Derbyshire, based on the amount of football played in the county.
Mark Bullingham, Chief Commercial and Football Development Officer at The FA, said: “This research demonstrates the significant impact that grassroots football has on every part of the country and is a tribute to the great work that the Derbyshire FA do every day.
“We’ve always known that amateur football makes a huge contribution to our economy and society in so many ways and it’s fantastic to have that proved now.”
Mark Bullingham, The FA’s Chief Commercial and Football Development Officer, said: “This research demonstrates the significant impact that grassroots football has on every part of the country and is a tribute to the great work that the Derbyshire FA do every day.
We’ve always known that amateur football makes a huge contribution to our economy and society in so many ways and it’s fantastic to have that proved now.”
Ricky Stevenson, CEO at the Derbyshire FA, said: “I think the report from the FA has done a fantastic job of highlighting the incredible impact that Grassroots Football has in the county.
“I think it’s great that we can continue to support economic and social development in Derbyshire and all of us at the Derbyshire FA feel privileged to be a part of this process.
“To us the most important thing now is that we not only maintain our current level of delivery, but to make sure that we always look to grow the game, to improve football for all, and to ensure ever-growing opportunities are delivered for players, coaches, referees, volunteers, and supporters.”
Click here to view the full report.