It’s going to be a long night of speculation before we actually start to get a clear picture of what the outcome of the election, so here’s a brief distraction from the seemingly endless speculation.
As I sat whiling away the hours watching Andrew Neil interview a variety of celebrities at different stages of inebriation, I thought I’d jump on the political bandwagon and do a bit of research to have a look at how the outcome of today’s election might affect the development and management of football in Britain over the coming years.
David Cameron’s party claims in its manifesto that Labour has diverted National Lottery funds away from sports in recent years in order to fund other government projects, something which the Conservatives claim they would amend in order to pump more money into sports and culture. More money being invested in grassroots football can only be positive, but is it a realistic option considering the economic problems the country is currently crippled with?
In their manifesto, the Labour party set out a programme for “national renewal” which included some points directly concerning football. Perhaps the most relevant of the policies articulated in the sports and culture section of the document is that which enables registered supporters’ trusts to buy stakes in their clubs, something which would surely be a welcome development to the fans of clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United, fans who are aggrieved with the shoddy financial leadership of their teams. There are also promises of extra Lottery funding for sports, but, as I have already mentioned, such action seems a trifle unrealistic considering the current economic climate.
The Liberal Democrats
The main thrust of the Liberal Democrats’ sporting policy is a commitment to the 2018 World Cup bid, something that is sure to excite British football fans, whilst also promising to free up money in dormant betting accounts in order to provide more capital for local sports clubs and facilities, as well as restricting the number of playing fields which are built on by developers. Although these are reasonable, practical measures, whether or not there would be enough money in these “dormant accounts” to fund a widespread of local sports facilities remains to be seen.
So, there you have it, that’s just a brief preview of how football might be effected by this election in the years to come. Enjoy the rest of the night.