Grassroots football

The money in British football is concentrated at the top. Sky and BT Sport have now paid a record £5.136billion for live Premier League TV rights for three seasons from 2016-17. They will bring in as much as £2billion on top of this in international broadcasting rights. It's time for a new settlement to revitalise grassroots football and the Premier League need to be a part of that.
Last month's announcement that the Football Association is going to lose a significant amount of investment - £1.6m of public funding - is the latest wake-up call for amateur football. Sport England is responsible for distributing public money to increase sports participation, and its decision to reduce funding for football is as a result of a sharp decline in the number of people playing the sport.
Greg Dyke's cut-throat mime at the 2014 World Cup draw said it all: England's chances of glory in Brazil this year are almost non-existent. The health of the national team has suffered a gradual decline over the last two decades, and it doesn't look like things will improve in the near future.
I, of course, realised my ultimate dream in 1966. But this would not have been possible were it not for the volunteers who helped me play football when I was growing up and then later at my first club Chelmsford Boys, now known at Chelmsford City Youth FC.
The anticipation around the start of the 2013/2014 football season is already building with transfer rumours, managers coming and going and fans planning their away trips. But it's worth remembering that all of the football superstars, their fans and the hundreds of column inches dominated by the beautiful game owe thanks to the people at junior and youth football clubs who work hard to ensure that communities and young players have access to football. Without this army of volunteers, the game as we know it simply couldn't continue.
The popularity of the women's game has grown remarkably over the past 10 years, demonstrating a change in attitude and culture around the female version of the game. This is backed up by findings revealed this month that shows the number of registered girls' football teams has grown in the past decade by 15% in England.