Cost of running a parks football team continue to rise.

PUBLISHED: 11:14 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 11:31 18 June 2010

The price of running a park soccer club has been put at around £2,000.

The price of running a park soccer club has been put at around £2,000. With costs rising, that could lead to teams folding before next season.

A survey conducted by the Grass Roots Football Alive show, which was held at the Birmingham NEC last weekend, revealed the problems which clubs are now facing. Apart from obvious expenditure such as kits, equipment and pitch hire, there are a wide raft of other expenses. League and competition fees, coaching course fees, training venue hire and insurance all add hefty sums to the bills.

To balance the books, clubs raise funds through a variety of different methods. In addition to weekly subs, sponsorship, fund-raising events and donations adopt increasing importance.

Only a very small proportion of clubs receive grant aid and local authority support - despite the exceptional amount of work they contribute to the community. Grass Roots Football Alive managing director Bob Rosen said: "Our survey shows the incredible amount of fund-raising works undertaken by volunteers. "Our worry in the longer term would be if clubs can continue to raise the funds required to cover all their costs. "Unlike professional clubs, running up debt is not an option. But our survey has shown that a great number of clubs rely on subsidies and donations from key members to keep them going. "But a combination of increasing costs, a need for improved facilities and a potential shortage of new coaches threaten its continued expansion in future years."

Football remains as popular as ever, even though the cost of running teams is increasing. Prudent budgeting and extensive fund-raising mean that 72 per cent of clubs surveyed by Grass Roots Football Alive broke even, with 18 per cent returning a profit and 10 per cent posting an annual loss. Clubs report that lower levels of sponsorship, donations and fund-raising initiatives are all factors in reduced income streams. And that, say two thirds of all junior clubs, is going to have to lead to the charging of increased weekly subs to youngsters, which will of course be passed through to the massive army of football parents. Availability of suitably qualified coaches is also a growing concern among clubs, potentially threatening continued expansion.

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