Gallop's $1b case for football funding boost

Football Federation Australia will lobby for a greater slice of the funding pie, after arguing that a new report shows the game’s facility-deprived grassroots is delivering more than $1billion to the national economy.

FFA chief David Gallop is expected to make mileage of the report on the eve of the NSW election, emphasising the significant lack of infrastructure available to football’s burgeoning ranks.

According to The Community Impact of Football in NSW report released on Monday the game’s grassroots contributes more than $417 million annually to the state economy.

"If we extrapolate this NSW data to a national level we can see that grassroots football contribution to the economy is delivering just over $1 billion per annum to the Australian community," Gallop told the Australian Financial Review.

"It helps demonstrate with hard data why football is the ideal partner to help governments build vibrant communities."

The report, commissioned by state bodies Football NSW and Northern NSW Football, claims NSW could be losing upwards of $200 million annually as demand continues to outstrip resources.

Football has some 365,000 participants in NSW alone, about 22% more than the three other codes combined, with females making up 22% of the 291,000 registered players.

Northern NSW CEO David Eland said: "We're growing at a faster rate than any other established sport. Our registrations are up 15 per cent on last year.

"That's driven by a combination of the sport's increasing popularity in its own right, helped by the Asian Cup success and our growing population, but a lack of local community infrastructure is seriously hampering our ability to cope with this demand.

“We have documented reports of clubs turning away players and of women having to change in public toilets simply because of a lack of facilities."

Figures quoted in the report regarding economic impact were calculated by measuring financial contributions from football clubs, players, referees, spectators, volunteers and businesses linked to the sport.