Saturday, May 27, 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's grassroots football policy is simple but brilliant


Jeremy Corbyn's grassroots football policy is simple but brilliant. He wants to boost grassroots football by ensuring that a small portion of the £billions in TV revenues flowing to the top clubs is used to support grassroots football.

This policy isn't just brilliant for English football because it will give many thousands more kids the facilities and opportunities to strive to become the elite players of the future, it'll also be a massive boost for the health of the nation.

Players

Anyone who follows football will be aware of the way Jamie Vardy climbed from the non-league to become a legend in Leicester City's astonishing Premier League winning campaign. Until 2010 he was playing for Stocksbridge Park Steelers FC. Then after stints with non-league Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town he joined Leicester City, going on to beat the Premier League record by scoring in eleven consecutive games and score his first goal for England in a 3-2 win against Germany.

How many more Jamie Vardy's might thrive and climb their way towards the pinnacle of the English game with better funding and facilities at the grass roots level?

Coaches

The benefit wouldn't just be for players either. Better facilities and more opportunities mean that English football coaching can begin to crawl out of the international basement. In 2014 England had just 1,395 UEFA A qualified coaches. In comparison Germany had 6,934 and Spain a whopping 15,423.

Given the lack of qualified coaches it any wonder that it's now an incredible 25 years since the last English manager led a team to the English league title? (Howard Wilkinson, Leeds United, 1991-92)

More money for the grassroots game will mean more aspiring coaches learning the skills to to bring the best out in British kids, 
and to succeed at the top level where previous generations have failed.

Public health

The public health benefits of more people playing sport are so obvious as to barely need explaining: Regular exercise is one of the most fundamental aspects of a healthy lifestyle, and the bonding experience of being part of a team is obviously a massive mental health benefit too.

The healthier lives people lead, the less reliant on the health service they are. Public health isn't just good for the individuals, it's good for the taxpayer too.

Conclusion

Corbyn's policy of ensuring 5% of the TV revenues are used to support grassroots football isn't some kind of punishment for the elite clubs. They can easily afford it, and the long-term benefits of more kids with decent football facilities, and more adults actively engaged in the game will more than compensate the big clubs in the long-run when the next superstar players, managers and coaches begin to flow up to the top of the game.

Jeremy Corbyn's belief that "football is for the many" is something that must surely resonate with anyone who has ever played at the grassroots level.

It's a fantastically simple policy that will be of enormous benefit to the long-term future of the British game.

And even if you don't much like football, getting more people involved in sport would clearly be a fantastic public health benefit too.


 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.




OR

No comments: