Forget the greedy Premier League and their furloughs - youth sport should be priority amid this crisis

Easter Saturday arrived in these strange, strange times, and Worthing Dynamos chairman Kevin O’Reilly made a statement confirming that the clubs annual small sided tournament which takes place up at Worthing Rugby Club every June would be cancelled this year due to the Covid 19 crisis.
Youth SportYouth Sport
Youth Sport

Right across the country, youth football clubs will be forced to make the same decision for their own respective events, which are not only great fun for the kids, but in almost every case represent a huge income stream for the clubs.

Income which effectively goes a long way to keeping every club running throughout the season.

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For 2020 that income is gone, never to return, also factor in that almost all of these clubs also receive financial help via sponsorship from local businesses.

But what happens when this madness ends?

How many of the aforementioned businesses be in a position to continue with their previous level of sponsorship?

Never mind the tax payer financing the furloughing Premier League clubs, whilst some still continue to pay individual players in excess of £250,000 a week, at the back end of Covid 19 youth football in the UK - and youth sport in general - will need urgent government assistance.

Even taking the lost incomes out of the equation youth sport must receive help as it’s a huge part of the fabric of society.

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Never mind the actual sport, the exercise factor helps the ongoing battle against childhood obesity, and on and off the field the youngsters are shaped with discipline and values that will help them in their transition to adulthood.

I’ve been asked on a number of occasions why Ian Hart Funeral Service is extremely proactive with sponsorship with local youngsters.

Quite simply, I’ve always been of the opinion all the time the kids are doing something be it football, cricket, rugby, art, singing, dancing, drama whatever. They’re not getting up to no good, and that’s good for them and for society in general.

So with that very important fact in mind what will the government do?

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I appreciate it will be only one of many challenges facing Boris and the Conservative party.

But for the reasons I’ve highlighted, it’s something that cannot be ignored.

Maybe one idea could be 100 per cent tax relief on youth sponsorship, ie: if ABC Ltd, buys a complete strip for an under-14 team, the total cost of that kit is taken off their tax bill?

Fairly simple, but for the clubs I’ve talked about, possibly the difference between giving local youngsters the opportunity to continue playing sport or having bored kids hanging around in parks and on street corners.

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