Memorandum submitted by The Football Trust
1. Over the past ten years, this country
has undergone a stadium revolution which has transformed our national
game. England has some of the finest football grounds in Europe
if not the World.
2. Supporters can now enjoy safe and comfortable
facilities which is reflected in the huge increase in attendances
recorded throughout the professional game. The Football Trust
has played a huge part in this transformation and as Euro '96
proved this country now has the grounds fit and ready to host
International Sporting Events.
3. The Football Trust has been the vehicle
for grant aiding football at every level throughout the UK since
it was set up by the Labour Government in 1975, with the assistance
of the pools companies and the Football League. Its original primary
purpose (when it was known as the Football Grounds Improvement
Trust) was to assist with the costs of implementing the Safety
of Sports Grounds Act 1975.
4. In 1979, following discussions with Government
after the publication of the final report from the Royal Commission
on Gambling, the Trust's remit was extended, so that whilst spectator
safety at professional football grounds remained a priority, it
expanded its work into the game at community and grassroots levels,
and was asked to pay particular attention to tackling football's
social problems, especially crowd violence and hooliganism.
5. The Trust's record of success was such
that in 1990, following the tragic events of the Hillsborough
Stadium disaster, the Trust was charged by Government with responsibility
for helping professional clubs to meet the cost of implementing
the recommendations of the Taylor Report.
6. Under the Chairmanship of Tom Pendry
MP, it brings all of football's major players together round one
table. It is the established vehicle for grant aiding football
with funding from the FA Premier League, the Football Association,
the English Sports Council, the Football League and the Professional
Footballers Association flowing through the Trust for the benefit
of our national game.
7. In Scotland the Trust works in partnership
with SFA and the Scottish Sports Council for the benefit of Scottish
football and it is hoped, with Government support, the Trust will
make similar arrangements in Wales and Northern Ireland.
8. British football grounds have been transformed,
providing the highest standard of safety and comfort for supporters.
The Trust has played a key role in this transformation.
9. Since 1990, the Trust has distributed
over £160 million to clubs in the FA Premier League, the
Football League and the Scottish Football League, enabling Taylor
related projects costing over £500 million to proceed.
10. England has successfully hosted a major
international football championship for the first time in 30 years.
The venues chosen for Euro '96 were excellent examples of the
tremendous progress which has been made as a result of Taylor.
Progress which has seen new grounds at Chester, Millwall, Northampton,
Middlesborough, Huddersfield, Sunderland, Bolton, Derby, Reading
11. Scotland has seen new grounds at Inverness
Caledonian Thistle, Livingston, Clyde and Stirling Albion, Aidrieonians,
East Fife and Hamilton Academicals are proceeding with their plans
12. The Trust has made a major contribution
to the national stadium in each of the Home counties. Wembley,
Hampden Park, Windsor Park and the new Millennium Stadium of Wales
have all benefited from our funding.
13. In addition, it has provided support
for essential safety and improvement work at grounds at every
level, from the top of the game to the grass roots throughout
the United Kingdom. Schemes providing strip and equipment for
school boy and school girl teams, women's football, pitches and
dressing rooms for local clubs along with contributions to many
football related charitable organisations.
14. The Football in the Community Programme
owes its existence to the Trust and our investment of some £5.5
million. Substantial investment has been made in training facilities
and youth development.
15. This year alone the Trust made over
120 grant offers. This funding went to a wide range of initiatives
and facilities such as the Kick Racism out of Football campaign,
the Learning through football initiative, Women's football and
a new stand at Port Vale.
CUP 2006 BID
16. Thanks to the Trust's investment this
country can now boast the finest football grounds in the World.
Grounds to grace the 2006 World Cup.
17. The quality of England's 2006 World
Cup bid was powerfully demonstrated last week when it was announced
that 16 stadiums have been placed on the initial Category A list
as all meeting FIFA's ground grading requirements.
18. The Trust has made a major contribution
to each of those stadiums as well as those which are currently
on the Category B list:
|GRADE A STADIA Aston Villa||3,476,361
|GRADE B STADIA Arsenal||3,072,167
19. In addition, since 1990 over 150 new and refurbished
stands, 55 new community and family facilities (22 of which include
facilities for people with disabilities) 22 stadium control rooms,
and 18 first aid rooms have been built. 40 clubs have new floodlighting
and nearly 100 clubs have new PA and emergency communication systems.
20. The introduction of CCTV surveillance equipment throughout
football has proved the single most important measure in the campaign
against football hooliganism and this has largely been paid for
by the Trust.
21. In addition, the Trust has made a major contribution
towards the dramatic improvement in facilities for spectators
with disabilities. In assessing major ground redevelopment projects
for grant aid special attention is paid to the extent and quality
of the provision of facilities for disabled. Grant aid is available
for: viewing platforms, improved access, toilets, match commentary
systems, induction loop, designated car parking and low level
22. The Trust has also provided funding to improve transport
to and from games. Priority is given to those schemes which bring
community advantages in addition to benefits for football supporters.
23. In 1990, in addition to the Trust's traditional source
of income from the pools companies' Spotting-the-Ball (later Littlewoods'
Spot the Ball) the Trust received the proceeds of a reduction
in pool betting duty to fund the implementation of Taylor.
24. The Chancellor of the Exchequer reduced pool betting
from 26.5 per cent to 17.5 per cent in this year's budget to assist
the pools companies. As evidence of the Government's commitment
to the Trust, part of the agreement with the pools companies was
that the proceeds of 3 per cent of this reduction would flow to
25. With Government support and the continued commitment
of our funding partnersThe FA Premier League, The Football
Association, Sport England, The Football League and The PFAthe
Trust can tackle new investment priorities and broaden the Trust's
remit, creating a long-term partnership and strategy for our national
26. The Trust can tackle new areas such as player development
and education and to ensure greater investment in the grass roots,
including community based facilities, schools, building links
between clubs and communities, supporting inner city schemes,
encouraging the development of education centres at football and
support for park teams. The Trust can play a significant role
in countering social exclusion.
27. The Trust is unique. No other footballing nation
has a body like the Trust which has helped to revolutionise the
spectating of football matches, providing safe and comfortable
facilities for supporters and vital funding at every level of
28. This is a major selling point when bidding for international
events and one which should be promoted at every opportunity.
29. With Government backing we are ideally placed to
attract funding from the top of the game and invest it throughout
football. The Trust is accepted as the grant aid vehicle for the
wider game and has never been more needed. The more equitable
distribution of football's new found wealth is a key issue. Highlighting
the strength of our national game from top to bottomwith
92 full-time professional clubsis something which should
30. The extension of the Trust's present Reduction in
Pool Betting Duty (RPBD) income will hopefully spring funding
from the football authorities, notably the Premier League, enabling
the Trust to return to being a major player in developing the
grass roots and to continue providing essential support to the
Football League, Conference and National League System for safety
and improvement work.
31. Football impacts on Government policies bringing
huge benefits to the country and the community. Thanks to the
contribution of the Trust, this country could play host to the
world's biggest international sporting event delivering enormous
benefits to the economy.
32. The Trust has an important role to play, it has made
a valuable contribution to the transformation of our national
game. It has demonstrated its effectiveness over 23 years through
working in partnership with Government, the football authorities
and the various funding bodies in sport to provide some of the
best football grounds in the world.
33. The Trust is well fitted to build on these established
partnerships in sport to help deliver future sporting events to
this country. It is a unique organisation which should be promoted
on the international stage.
34. Its work has already been expanded to other sports
through the establishment of the Sports Grounds Initiative (SGI)
in May 1995, which the Trust administers. The role of the SGI
is to provide financial support for ground redevelopment work
to improve standards of spectator safety and comfort in county
cricket, rugby league, and rugby union.
35. It is vital we have an organisation capable of delivering
a healthy, thriving sporting infrastructure and culture at every
level to underpin a successful bid to stage a major sporting event
in this country.
36. The success of the campaign to bring the World Cup
to England in 2006 will result in even greater interest in football
and place more demands on the game. The Trust will have a central
part to play in meeting those demands and is ready and able to
help play its vital part in securing other major events to these