The so called “virtual summit” on British Football, which is being hosted, by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, today, has been criticised for excluding the millions of small sided football is who represent the largest footballing body in the UK.
The summit, which has been arranged by the DCMS on an invitee only basis, includes all the major stakeholders for 11 aside football, but nobody from the much larger playing community the small sided football.
Leisure leagues spokesman Andy Thorley said: “How can you have a football summit which represents just 5% of the people who play football in this country? We all know that the vast majority of people who play football in the UK are small sided players, either playing casually or with a recognised commercial operator. Here at leisure leagues alone we have a quarter of a million players playing with us weekly. You might have thought that an organisation like ours would have been invited to this football Summit, but we haven’t heard anything.”
Small sided football is the most widely played ball sport in the UK, and the FA have already announced that they are going to scale back their funding, which already represented less than 1% of their income, to the small sided game.
Mr Thorley said: “The silent majority, indeed the vast majority of people that play football in the UK, simply don’t have a voice. It is not helpful when the government continues to exclude this sizeable community, and seeks to want to put all the decision-making in the powers of a tiny select few, representing a very small minority of the footballing community. It doesn’t make any sense.”Back to Blog