Opinion: Adult football in Norfolk is under threat, but what do you think?
PUBLISHED: 11:48 26 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:48 26 January 2014
Reader Mike Holmes believes there are serious problems within Norfolk in terms of the decline of adult 11 a-side football.
In your report this week, Greg Dyke, chairman of the Football Association, compliments Norfolk FA and indeed praises the county officials for the undoubted quality of the facilities at Bowthorpe.
He has been lulled into a false sense of security about the situation. In fact, there are serious problems within the county in terms of the rapid decline of adult 11 a-side football.
Of course junior football seems to be thriving and the facilities countywide are generally good for that. The real problems are within the adult game. Adult football is dying a slow death at grass roots level and I am most surprised that Norfolk County officials have not been saying more about it.
We know that there are 60,000 fewer adults playing the game 12 months on from the Olympics so what planet does the FA chairman come from? It is actually Mr Dyke’s FA which is seriously contributing to the demise of grass-roots adult football nationwide. There are serious issues.
Rules governing the game at the very pinnacle of the sport (Premier and Championship for example) are draconian when applied at grass-roots levels, with repercussions that are driving adult players from the game. As an example, there is no right for a player to appeal against errors of, perhaps, refereeing judgment unless that appeal is accompanied by video evidence. What sense does that make when applied to local and cash-strapped adult football?
Examples like this of the lack of understanding by the likes of Greg Dyke’s Football Association are the true reasons for the downward spiral of adult players. This doesn’t necessarily apply to junior players — at the moment!
Mike Holmes, Sheringham.