Date: 30th October 2018
GRASSROOTS football delivers more than £1bn of positive value to Scottish society, according to a new study published today.
It says there is “unique tangible evidence” of the impact the sport has on the country in terms of economic, social and health benefits.
As well as a total social return on investment of £1.25bn, the report — commissioned by UEFA in conjunction with the Scottish FA –also highlights a direct economic impact of over £200m, over £300m in social benefits and a preventative health spend of almost £700m from the grassroots game.
So with all that good value to society you would expect those who play a vital role in making all this happen to have a significant voice in how the game is run here in Scotland. Sadly, despite the fact that most of the heavy lifting is done by communities across Scotland they are not given the acknowledgement or influence that input deserves. An annual awards ceremony celebrating Grassroots activities whilst welcome, is simply not enough to claim to be proper engagement. At the SFSA we have many members both individuals and clubs that have joined our ranks hoping for a route to express their views. We are receiving a far better response from the new regime at the SFA but it needs to recognise that this report should act as a catalyst for meaningful change. Ask any of the grassroots clubs how much support they get trying to run their clubs and don’t expect many positive responses. They have seen a PVG system in melt down and constantly face the added burden of the high costs of getting suitable public owner facilities at a reasonable price. Support from the top of the game is a best patchy and at worse negligible.
The economic benefits that the game brings to the country is acknowledged by the report yet supporters of the game who fund the game through TV subscriptions and by paying at the gate are the last to be considered. Whether that is about the scheduling of a Cup Semi Finals, the lack of coordinated public transport, or intrusive policing at games little thought goes to their plight. Today the football industry is patting itself on the back celebrating positive news – now what it needs to do is to step up to the plate and deliver a new level of engagement
Scottish Football Supporters Association
Posted in: Feature Story