This is another guest post from Dave Buglass after his extremely insightful and popular previous post. Dave hits the nail on the head with this one and should be posted ‘first class’ to the football authorities. I’ll let Dave carry on……..
Please sir…………can we have some of that?
The transfer window slammed shut at 11pm on Thursday after a frantic deadline day, with the 20 teams in the English Premiership paying out more than £210m on the final day of business.
English top flight English clubs spent an absolute fortune over the past couple of months as they scrambled to improve their squads for the long campaign ahead.
Premier League sides splashed more than £1.4bn on recruitment, with a total of 265 players joining new clubs.
Wow… if only we had even a fraction of that in grassroots.
This is my 3rd season at Syngenta Juveniles now coaching at U17s with a great squad of committed players, coaches and parents. As a club, we’re like any other grassroots club always looking for funding support, sponsors etc etc to buy new kit, balls and equipment. That’s then before having to pay for the use of school let facilities and astro parks.
However, as a club we’re lucky that we’ve struck gold with a new 25-year lease for pretty much exclusive use of the Little Kerse facility in Grangemouth which boasts five pristine grass surfaces, one refurbished astro park and the announced-on Thursday a second astro park for the use by Syngenta players. Fantastic news however it’s been far too hard to achieve this and the funding required.
So taking into account the money splashing around in the transfer window in both England and Scotland, why couldn’t we introduce with the help of the government some form of Grassroots Sport Tax how would that work?
Idea 1: For every £1 spent on a transfer a 1% levy would be applied to a transfer fee that is paid into a central fund that would be governed by the relevant bodies selected.
Perhaps the Scottish Football Trust who’s impact on our game is growing at a pace. So basically, for every transfer in Scotland that takes place at one of clubs, the levy is charged to the club and then paid into the central fund.
This summer alone, over £12m was spent between Celtic and Rangers so that’s £120,000 alone into a fund.
Idea 2: Much was written about the launch of Juan Mata’s (Manchester United) decision to pay 1% of his wages (£140k a week) into the Common Goal charity run by StreetWorld Football. His idea was ‘sign up’ a Common Goal First Eleven doing similar. All funds raised would go to a range of charities.
So why with the help of the PFA in Scotland (and maybe England) couldn’t we consider a Grassroots Tax on professional salaries for all players?
Businesses up and down the UK are being charged for the new Apprenticeship Levy, which is a tax calculated on their PAYE. So why couldn’t we consider something similar?
Players putting back into the funding of facilities across the country, creating the next set of heroes and giving something back.
We shouldn’t be struggling to get funding to put teams onto the pitch on a Saturday and Sunday morning, but sadly we are. With the outcomes and outputs due to be presented on the now infamous Project Brave, are we likely to see how more funding can be directed the way of clubs to continue? How many of the Performance Schools had new astros or the appropriate facilities provided for their launch?
If Project Brave is due to slash the number of ‘pro youth’ and ‘club academy’ sides up and running, 1000s of boys will pour back into boys club to continue their development. Are we ready for them and will we be able to continue their development or will they be lost to the PlayStation or Xbox?
One thing is for sure with the money continuing to spoil our game at the top level, funds need to be filtering down into the grassroots game.
The big guys should be doing far more to grow the next generation of Scotland stars.