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A perfect example of football propaganda and not much to do with reality.

By Tony Attwood

Wembley Stadium interior.jpgTalk about propaganda the FA certainly have the mass media in England under its control, as the FA talk up a new programme to improve grassroots football.

Not surprisingly no mention was made by the FA about the utter disaster and total cock up of its previous attempts to do anything about grass roots football.  As for any attempt at investigative journalism – or even going back and reading the history of the FA in this area – not a chance.  The FA know it can hand out a press release and the mainstream media will lap it up without asking a single question.

Thus once more we have a perfect example of brainwashing – the refusal to admit anything other than the standard story.  In this case the bright new future (which is in fact a Brave New World of fantasy).

So let us go back and have a look at what has been going on – and as ever it has to be Untold Arsenal that does this, because everyone else has been brainwashed into following the fake story.

On 27 March 2014 Sport England announced that it was cutting its funding of the FA’s grassroots football programme because of the FA’s failure to deliver results in the project having taken, and wasted, the previous funds Sport England had given .  The FA was also told to improve its performance if it did not want further cuts.   The money that Sport England saved was then given directly to other bodies that were investing in grassroots football.

Sport England took the funding away from the Football Association because the number of people playing football regularly – once a week, every week – had dropped sharply while what the FA were supposed to be pushing the number up.

Having cut FA funding, Sport England then reinvested the funding to create a grassroots ‘City of Football’ – working in one place to create a whole range of new opportunities to encourage more people to play football regularly and sharing the insight with the FA to help it grow the game. Bids were invited from interested cities in April 2014.

On 16 September 2014 Nottingham was named as as Sport England’s City of Football requiring it to deliver inventive ideas, wide reaching partnerships and showing a clear vision.  That project finished in 2017.

Meanwhile all we have had is the bleating of the FA and wild and woolly ideas which are totally unfunded (they are announced, there is a call for sponsors, and then there is silence).

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Then in September 2014 Club England managing director Adrian Bevington said that the very best figure that could be put in the FAs finances was that it was still nine years away from being debt free – largely because of the vast funds spent on Wembley.   The implication was that all the money they could lay their hands on was going into funding the debt.

The latest FA financial statement is on line – and very very hard to read.  But we do know that during the 2019-20 season, the FA generated a total turnover of £335m with an operating profit of £9.8m.

But it was still not debt free, which was bad news because at that point along came the coronavirus.  Since the FA had no emergency funding provision because it was STILL paying off the debt for building Wembley the FA made 124 positions redundant, and suggested that its losses for 2020/1 were over £300m.

To keep going it has arranged to borrow another £75m a year every year for the next four years.  Savings have been talked about but no one quite knows where they are coming from.

So if we look back to August 2015 when the FA said it would invest £260m in grassroots football over the next four years, we can see that nothing happened, even though at this time the FA’s chief executive Martin Glenn, said, “We have identified four key areas in which we have committed to investing £260m over the next four years – facilities, coaching, participation and developing the football workforce. Our goals are ambitious, but achievable.”

Now matters are scaled back – to under 1% of the previous scheme.  But still it gets a fanfare…

Our “Return to Football Fund”, made possible with Sport England funding from the National Lottery, will target £2.1m at supporting people in low participation groups to start playing again. It will also fund initiatives aimed at bringing new players into the game and cover the cost of adapting to COVID-19 rules.

The Sweet FA and the corruption files

 

2 comments to A perfect example of football propaganda and not much to do with reality.

  • Graham Day

    You’re right as usual, the F.A. is unfit for purpose. I used to serve on a league representative committee which was a lively and interesting group. But when we had the temerity to suggest that they were totally controlled by the F.A. and that they had no interest in true grass routes football they waited til the end of the season a d disbanded our committee.They know nothing about true grass roots football and yet have total control.

  • I think they (the FA) blamed the failure of their previous grass-roots programme on the weather. That should tell you all you need to know.