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Grassroots football clubs lose average £7,000 each due to Covid – sort it Drakeford !

We all want to see this again – teams like Bangor 1876 in action. Picture: Dafydd Hughes

Grassroots football clubs in Wales have lost an average of £7,000 each, due to lost sponsorship, events, and other fundraising opportunities, since the Covid-19 outbreak.

The pandemic’s devastation, across the grassroots game, has been made clear by an FAW Trust Covid-19 Impact survey, completed by more than 500 clubs.

Some of the startling findings included an average total income loss of £7,029.58 per club, with more than 80% reporting a loss in sponsorship money, as well as annual events, festivals and other mass participation income opportunities being decimated, across the country, last summer.

Also, more than half of clubs say they expect to lose vital volunteers, and many felt forced to increase membership prices at the start of the 2020/21 season.

On the positive side, the pandemic has inspired 74% of Wales’ junior clubs to undertake new activities or actions to compensate its negative impact.

Some of this has included using technology to keep the club connected and as a source of fundraising.

The Be Active Wales Fund available via Sport Wales, has supported 151 clubs to date which has enabled them to return to football activity safely this season.

THE FACTS

97% of clubs have been affect financially by COVID-19

Events and Fundraising have been the incomes most affected from clubs.

Average total income loss – £7,029.58

The highest age groups / provision that have been impacted are seniors and U14 – U16’s

51% of clubs are predicting to lose volunteers from their clubs

82% of clubs have lost sponsorship

37% of clubs are looking at needing to increase membership and/or ticket prices

IN THE MEANTIME…..

Six-figure salary, no concern about the death of grassroots football

The First Minister for Wales sits in an office on £147,983 a year (just £2,419 less than the Prime Minister in London) safe as houses from any hardship.

Mark Drakeford has little or no knowledge of football, no understanding of how our grassroots game works, yet sees fit to refuse any extension to the rule which restricts match involvement to 30 people.

Some Cymru Premier clubs face going out of business because they are not allowed to admit spectators.

No football at all below tier 1 for men and women in Wales is permitted. Seven months without kicking a competitive ball.

How many of these clubs will survive to the point when we are allowed to eventually start playing again?

No problem in FAW officers/members enjoying a jolly to internationals home and away, but no support for hundreds of clubs across Wales being denied the chance to play matches.

Yet other events which many would argue do not match football for importance are allowed to be widely attended.

You can gather in a pub to watch a match, but not the open-air of a football ground, surely a safer environment. It’s crackers.

Supposed UEFA relief funding of £1 million will go nowhere near keeping grassroots alive.

You said yourself Drakeford, when you visited the beach recently, that it is good to see people outdoors – they are safer from Covid-19 outdoors than indoors you said.

Well what’s the bloody problem with football then? An outdoor sport where attendance control would be extremely easy to administer.

Open your eyes Drakeford and look at what’s going on – you’re killing our game. You are a disgrace.

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