Premier League 'must support' grassroots football says MP
1:47pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
A BOLTON MP has launched an e-petition calling for a tax on Premier League football’s lucrative TV rights to help support “dying” grassroots football.
Bolton North East MP David Crausby backed an early day motion in parliament last year which calls for the Premier League’s television deals to be subjected to a 50 per cent windfall tax.
Now he has started an e-petition calling for 7.5 per cent of broadcasting rights money to be given to the amateur game.
The proceeds of the tax would be given to the Football Foundation and Sport England to develop school sports and grass-roots football facilities.
Mr Crausby said: “Owners, players and agents are making billions of pounds out of these huge TV deals, but without proper funding for decent facilities we can’t develop the players of the future or encourage more children to get involved with our favourite sport.”
He added: “The Premier League has had plenty of opportunities to act in the interest of the sport, but we continue to see the money hoarded at the top.
“I think it is time to look at new solutions.”
A League spokesman said via The Football Foundation charity, that it had "the most sustained investment programme by any league in the world".
Mr Crausby's petition has been supported by the Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, Steve Rotheram, and former Liverpool player Ian St John.
A Premier League spokesman said the "sporting and commercial success of the League last year ensured £1.2bn worth of taxes for the Exchequer last year".
"It is for Government to decide how those revenues should be spent, but we would be pleased if this funded greater sports provision," he said.
He added that in the last 10 years, more than £200m had been given by the League to the Football Foundation, a charity which supports grassroots projects throughout England.
"In 2012, £45m was invested, which funded 843 club projects and engaged over 541,000 individuals - 89% of them 18 years of age or under," he said.
"We believe this to be the most sustained investment programme in grassroots sports by any football league in the world."