A PETITION calling on the Premier League to give more money to children’s grassroots football has been signed by more than 25,000 people.
As reported in The Bolton News, David Crausby, MP for Bolton North East, launched the campaign 11 months ago after it was announced the footballing body would receive more than £3 billion over the next three seasons due to new broadcasting deals.
He is asking the league to give 7.5 per cent of its TV rights — equivalent to £375 million — to keep the cost of community football affordable for families across the country.
The Premier League currently give 3.25 per cent of the money to grassroots football projects.
Mr Crausby said he is delighted to have a reached 25,000 signatures — with 3,000 signatures being collected just last weekend.
He added: “I think that people appreciate that it’s only fair for the Premier League to share some of its wealth to ensure that all children across Britain can access organised football and good facilities.
“I hope that people will keep sharing the petition as we have just one month left to go.”
Warren Barlow, chairman of the Bolton, Bury and District Football League, welcomed the volume of support for the petition.
The league — which receives no funding from the Premier League — helps organise 280 matches every Saturday morning for community football teams across the region.
Mr Barlow said: “There is a massive lack of facilities for grassroots football, and the budget cuts and austerity measures have really bit into the council’s ability to cut and maintain the pitches.
“It costs £200,000 to build one all-weather, 3G football pitch — less than some professional footballers make in a week.
“It’s atrocious. The FA are doing their best but it’s the Premier League which has the power, and it’s a business and a global brand. I don’t believe they’re interested in grassroots football.”
If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures before February 20, it will be considered for debate by the backbench business committee.
You can see and sign the petition here.