FA in £200m 'Parklife' grassroots scheme

Hackney Marshes pitches

The Football Association is helping to invest £200m as part of a scheme to improve grassroots football in England.

The ‘Parklife’ project will build 30 new all-purpose facilities by 2020. in a partnership between the FA, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the Premier League and Sport England.

One project, the SGP Sheffield Graves centre, will open on Wednesday.

“We will benefit for decades,” said interim England manager Gareth Southgate.

“When talking about player development, you’re always thinking about short, medium and long-term strategies. It can’t always be about what’s right for the next 12 months.

“But the investment isn’t always about producing that elite player. It’s for kids and communities too.

“I know grassroots clubs give kids somewhere to go where they feel safe, where they get a strong positive influence around them and there’s a huge amount of social responsibility.”

On Monday, the FA announced a new overseas broadcast rights deal for the FA Cup – reportedly worth £820m – for six seasons from 2018-19.

The value of the overseas deal was undisclosed but chief executive Martin Glenn has said it will allow more investment in pitches, facilities and participation programmes.

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