NEW FA REPORT VALUES THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACT OF GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL AT OVER £10BN
- First report of its kind shows the social and economic value of adults playing grassroots football in England is £10.8bn each year
- £8.7bn alone can be attributed to social wellbeing, with lower income groups experiencing some of the greatest quality-of-life benefits, specifically in their health and confidence
- With over eight million adults currently playing football in England, The FA is increasing efforts to ensure sporting and social needs are being met in local communities
- The report was commissioned as part of The FA’s strategy to increase grassroots participation
The Football Association [The FA] has today launched a new report that explores the social and economic value of adult grassroots football in England, finding its value to equate to £10.8bn each year.
The FA invests around £1 million each week into the grassroots game to support the 8 million adults who play football and commissioned the report, which is the first of its kind, to set out the contribution of adult grassroots football to the nation’s economy and wellbeing.
Now the report has been published, The FA will continue to work closely with its partners to ensure that the grassroots game continues to deliver great local benefits. The FA is currently undertaking demand-led analysis in every single local authority in England to prioritise investment in pitches which remains grassroots football’s biggest challenge – with only one in three pitches currently of adequate quality and one in six matches called off due to poor pitch quality.
The report, titled “The Social and Economic Value of Adult Grassroots Football in England”, found that 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.
Mark Bullingham, The FA’s Chief Commercial and Football Development Officer, said: “This is the first time a report of this kind and scale has been commissioned in the UK and the findings are clear. We have always known that football improves people’s health; this report quantifies exactly by how much, and also demonstrates football’s social contribution to players and society as a whole.
“This significant programme of work will not only benefit the grassroots football community, but help The FA and our partners further promote the game and its undeniable benefits to even wider audiences.”
For more information go to www.TheFA.com
 This is estimated using the Wellbeing Valuation method, measured as the equivalent amount of income a person would need to make up for the wellbeing they gain from playing regular football.