January 11 – The English FA has unveiled a package of new financing that centres around increasing investment in the English game from to £123 million to £180 million. The FA also said that it will have paid off its Wembley National Stadium debt by the end of 2024.
England’s grassroots activities will benefit substantially with an extra £9 million being pumped into facilities to support clubs, County FAs, local authorities and education sites.
Grassroots participation activities will also get a boost with an extra £6 million being invested.
At the centre of the plan is the FA’s commitment to invest “directly into the 20,000 grassroots affiliated clubs to ensure that each of the 64,000 mini-soccer and youth teams has a minimum of a Level One coach, to provide our youngest players with the quality coaching they deserve.”
The English governing body is also setting up a Community Club Hub network which will see more than 150 “large-scale clubs across England receive direct investment and resource support to deliver development outcomes. Each Hub will also have a subsidised UEFA B Coach mentor to work across their club and wider community.”
The women’s game will receive an additional £50 million over six years “to ensure the sustainability of successful initiatives such as the SSE Wildcats programme, which will see 3,200 new Wildcats centres by 2020, and also ensuring the Women’s Super League gets the support it requires as it grows. This is all part of our commitment to double participation in women’s football and to ensure consistent success on the world stage.”
The pay-off of the Wembley Stadium debt will benefit the FA by £2-3 million a year in interest savings from 2024. The rebuilt 90,000 capacity Wembley cost £757 million, reopening in 2007, seven years after the old Wembley was closed and after multiple construction and funding issues. There is still £142 million of debt to repay.
Since re-opening Wembley, the FA has built an increasingly successful events business around the facility and is currently hosting Tottenham Hotspur home games while White Hart Lane is being rebuilt. Discussion are currently on-going with Chelsea about a reported £15 million four-year rental while Stamford Bridge is rebuilt.
The FA has also said it will double FA Cup prize money. Currently the FA pays £15.1 million, with the winners receiving £1.8 million.
Martin Glenn, FA chief executive officer, said: “The initiatives and investments announced today will make a significant impact to the way football is run in this country.
“They illustrate both how committed The FA is to becoming a more inclusive and diverse organisation, and how much it contributes to English football.
“The FA will now invest over £180m a year back into the game, more than we have ever done before, which will have a positive and meaningful impact at every level of football in England.”
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