Weather nightmare for local football clubs

artificial grass pitchLatest Met Office figures revealed that January 2014 was the wettest ever recorded in many parts of the country.  This season, grass roots football clubs face serious challenges.  With so much rain, practice is called-off and matches are frequently cancelled. 

Organisers are in despair as teams are regularly beaten by the weather – Woolton FC in Merseyside has had to call-off 9 games in a row.  The Football Association chief executive has reported that in Herefordshire, some clubs haven’t kicked a ball since the middle of December.

80% of amateur football is played on council grass pitches.  Local authority budgeting has cut football subsidies and hire rates have increased as much as 300 per cent.  These pitches are not just expensive, they’re poor quality too.

In a BBC interview, a spokesperson from the FA said that pitches were in an ‘abhorrent state.’  They are waterlogged from the heavy rain and suffering from wear from overuse.  He argued there must be a move to artificial football pitches.  A fake grass pitch can hold 2-3 games per week, providing facilities for up to 60 teams to train and play.

The Government and FA Facilities Fund is investing £102 million in improvements, including 150 new or refurbished artificial grass pitches.  However, a club in Bristol who says they regularly have to turn away under 16s, say they have been rejected for funding multiple times.  Maybe Wayne Rooney could help?

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