The Football Association has today 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 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.
Over £300 million value to Hertfordshire
At a national level adult grassroots football contributes £10.8 billion in social and economic value. Based on the amount of football played in the county, this equates to over £300 million in Hertfordshire.
Despite this value, only one in three grass pitches are of adequate quality across the country, while one in six matches are called off due to poor pitch quality.
This is why The FA is in the middle of a nationwide analysis, creating demand-led assessments of the pitch supply needs of every local authority in England through the creation of local football facility plans.
Karl Lingham, Hertfordshire FA CEO said:
“We know the power football has to change lives and the positive impact it can have on communities. However until now it’s been hard to quantify its value. This report shows us that investment in football is money well spent, supporting a game that delivers considerable benefits to society.
It’s clear that that playing football in all its forms, has a significant impact on both the economy and on the quality of life of those playing the game. By working to support quality provision and improve facilities our goal is to continue to grow participation so that everyone in Hertfordshire has the opportunity to realise these benefits”.
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 the local figure is a tribute to the great work that Hertfordshire 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.”
To find out more you can download the full report by following the link below.
Download the report