Extract of remarks on FIFA allegations in speech by Football Foundation President Lord Pendry

Football Foundation President Lord Pendry

Football Foundation President Lord Pendry

The following is an extract from a speech by Football Foundation President Lord Pendry at the Northern League’s 125th Anniversary Dinner held at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham, on the evening of 29th May 2015:

“The Football Foundation has awarded grants worth £18m across the whole of County Durham since 2000.

 “We work hand-in-hand with our friends at the Durham FA and regional FA staff to deliver this.

 “And we have managed to more than double that grant money by using it to attract a further £17m of partnership funding.  That is £35m of grassroots investment into this County alone in fifteen years.

 “The region now enjoys:

– 23 new changing pavilions
– 91 real grass pitches
– And 28 brand new artificial grass pitches

 “We pride ourselves on being incredibly lean at the Football Foundation.

 “With minimal overheads and a staff of just 50, we ensure that the money we are given goes towards rebuilding our grassroots that so desperately needs it.

 “Why do I mention this?  Well, this week has seen serious allegations and arrests over the finances of FIFA.

 “As U.S. Attorney Kelly T. Currie bluntly put it: ‘…the bribe money that comes out of the pot, if you will, for the value of these marketing rights takes money away from soccer fields and soccer balls for kids.’

 “Much has been said about the way FIFA officials have employed charitable donations around the world to garner votes to shore up their own position over the years.  Such revelations simply serve to underline how utterly critical it is to ensure that such donations are administered properly through an arms-length, independent, ideally charitable vehicle to ensure that the necessary scrutiny and governance is applied. 

 “In the Football Foundation, the Premier League, The FA and the Government have established an independent charitable vehicle for this very purpose, so that grassroots funding is invested in an impartial, efficient and transparent way.

 “This provides a guaranteed assurance that their crucial investment does not go astray or is subject to influence from vested interests or diverted to ‘pet’ projects.

 “The Football Foundation’s proven and highly sophisticated monitoring and evaluation system provides oversight of the thousands of grants awarded by the Football Foundation of the past 15 years.  It provides cast-iron evidence of the impact of each grant, many years after the award has been made, and provides assurance that money is being targeted to where it is most needed and where it will have the greatest impact.  Most importantly, reassurance is provided that each individual grassroots project that has been funded continues to deliver the outcomes it committed to when accepting the grant offer.

 “Governments and footballing bodies naturally come under fire for various things.  One thing the UK Government and the English football authorities can take great credit for is having the foresight to set up the perfect model of probity, effectiveness and efficiency to direct English football’s grassroots investment.”

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.