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FIFA scandal 'hurts grassroots football'

The current raft of corruption scandals hitting football’s governing body could have financial implications for some of the game’s more vulnerable clubs says Football Trade Directory’s managing director George Moss.

FIFA’s executive has been rocked by the scandals and whilst the Swiss-based governing body should negotiate their way through the stormy waters there have been worrying statements from the game’s biggest corporate sponsors. VISA are the latest big name to release a statement, suggesting that FIFA need to be proactive in the face of the latest allegations.

"The current situation is clearly not good for the game and we ask that FIFA take all necessary steps to resolve the concerns that have been raised,” the credit card company said in a carefully worded statement released on Tuesday.

VISA follow on from other big name sponsors such as Emirates who are ‘disappointed, Adidas who say that  ‘the negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners,’ and Coca-Cola who said in their statement that the allegations are ‘distressing and bad for the sport.’

"The wider impact of this scandal is that sponsors are going to think twice before investing in football,” George Moss said this week.

"FIFA receives almost £800m a year in revenue, a large chunk of which comes from large corporate sponsors. If those big businesses are voicing concerns then that process could trickle down to lower levels of the game and seriously harm the financial futures of clubs at grassroots level."

Football Trade Directory works closely with clubs at all levels of the game from the Premier League to grassroots and Moss has seen at first hand how hard clubs work to attract investment in the tough financial climate.

"A good sponsorship or commercial package can often be a financial lifeline for some of these smaller clubs. At Football Trade Directory we understand how difficult it can be and our work helps bring clubs and businesses together – but the FIFA scandals are damaging the credibility of the game.

"The bad headlines that the people at the very top of the game are attracting reflect awfully on those clubs who are struggling at the bottom. FIFA will survive this crisis, can the same be said for some of those clubs who are going to be affected in the aftermath of this scandal?"

Football Trade Directory has launched a unique competition which could provide a secure financial future for one lucky club. In partnership with the brmb Grass Roots Football Show, the Non-League Football Paper, Quick Play Sports and Gazelle Sports, Football Trade Directory are set to give away £3,000 worth of sponsorship to a grassroots football club.

"We’ve already received more than 1,000 applications from clubs right through the non-league pyramid, from Blue Square Conference clubs to Sunday League sides. A £3,000 investment will make a huge difference to one of these clubs, the feedback we have already had has been amazing.

"One club manager said that winning this competition would be like winning the lottery jackpot!" Moss added.

 

Matt Morris

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