The latest Active People Survey figures show a fall of 100,000 in the numbers of people playing football. The FA’s General Secretary Ales Horne is refreshingly open and honest and responds by saying “…what is clear is that the nature of football participation is changing and that our players increasingly want football on their terms; less formal, less frequent, more flexible.”
How many of our community football clubs so actually offer ‘football on the players’ terms? Or are they still focused on 11-a-side competitive football playing in leagues, every Sunday morning! There is not one five-a-side pitch at St George’s Park, the FA’s £105m new facility, so where is the inspiration for this massive change going to come from?
I see lots of great flexible community football happening at our community groups and social and commercial enterprises…if our community football clubs are to survive they will need support and encouragement to change and innovate.