Wembley windfall for CI?
THE proposed sale of Wembley Stadium could bring about a massive multi-million pound boost to grassroots football facilities in Jersey – if the FA’s projected figures stack up.
The Guernsey FA say they could receive up to £6m in funding, but the Jersey Football Association’s chief executive Jean-Luc Debois, having been out of the Island, is being cautious as he wants time to fully digest the FA’s sale document, sent out to all county associations. He did say that, potentially, ‘the benefit to the grassroots game could be massive,’ though warning that ‘any potential sale would probably need Government agreement as they have invested significantly [in Wembley].’
Guernsey revealed they could receive £6m if the £600 million sale, to American business tycoon Shahid Khan, goes through.
It could be expected Jersey would receive at least the same amount of funding, although it is unclear how the percentages are worked out between the FA’s county associations (although probably number of clubs, players registered).
The GFA have examined a document circulated to all the 46 county football associations (including Jersey, with Alderney believed to come under the umbrella of Guernsey). It projects huge cash benefits to selling the national stadium to billionaire Khan and the message from the FA to the counties is clear: This is the opportunity to end all the complaints about poor facilities and spark a revolution of 3G pitches and the end to postponed games.
Whether the FA Councillors will vote for the Khan offer remains to be seen but clearly it would be of huge benefit to the Island game if it could fund a number of 3G pitches, the improvement of grass facilities and even, perhaps, an indoor community hub/centre.
However, The Telegraph, who ran articles over the proposed sale at the weekend, point out that the windfall to the county associations would not arrive in one impressive dollop.
They say ‘football chiefs propose sending £46 million to the 47 county associations every year as part of an investment model to eventually generate £1.5 billion for the grass-roots game, provided projections prove right of an estimated annual interest rate of five per cent. Current baseline interest rates remain at 0.75 per cent.’