Cam­paign­ers warn ‘fewer chil­dren will play foot­ball’

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport -

dis­cuss the con­sul­ta­tion process. “Our hos­pi­tal­ity rev­enue from Wem­b­ley Sta­dium, which usu­ally de­liv­ers around £35 mil­lion per year, has com­pletely fallen away and will prob­a­bly take years to re­cover,” Bulling­ham said.

The FA halted re­cruit­ment fol­low­ing lock­down, with 42 po­si­tions al­ready va­cant. How­ever, coaches for each age group team from Un­der-15s to Un­der-20s, as well as spe­cial­ist coaches, were told that all would have to reap­ply for their jobs. Tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Les Reed and his as­sis­tant, John McDer­mott, re­cently ar­rived from Tot­ten­ham, will im­ple­ment the cuts.

The se­nior men’s and women’s teams, as well as the Un­der-21s, have been ring-fenced. Eng­land man­ager Gareth South­gate took a 30 per cent pay cut to his £3mil­lion salary at the start of April.

In his mes­sage to all staff, Bulling­ham said the “high level of un­cer­tainty in our land­scape means that we have had to plan for a whole range of po­ten­tial sce­nar­ios” for losses of ap­prox­i­mately £300mil­lion. “As a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, this will hit us hard,” he added. “The sit­u­a­tion has wors­ened to a point where we now need to re­duce the size of the FA to deal with the fi­nan­cial im­pact of the cri­sis.”

Non-League clubs are work­ing to­wards a po­ten­tial Septem­ber start for the 2020-21 sea­son, but have been told FA Vase and FA Cup re­plays up un­til the third round could be scrapped. In grass roots, the wet weather had al­ready led to nu­mer­ous can­cel­la­tions be­fore the sea­son was brought to a pre­ma­ture end.

“What­ever hap­pens at the top will work its way down to the bot­tom, and this will mean fewer chil­dren play­ing foot­ball, and more pitches fall­ing into dis­re­pair or even be­ing sold,” said cam­paigner Saun­ders.

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