Hundreds of Merseyside children and parents protest at football pitch fees hike

Concern that rise from £1,800 to £5,000 will destroy grassroots football in Bootle, Litherland and Netherton

liverpool grassroots protestA huge hike in football pitch fees saw hundreds of parents and children from across Merseyside protest in Netherton yesterday.

Pitches at Buckley Hill are set to rise from £1,800 to over £5,000 and for junior footballers from the Bootle, Litherland and Netherton football league it could see children priced out of playing football.

League secretary Colin Chadd said he is disgusted by the fees and lack of investment from football authorities and the government but was delighted to see some many come out in support.

“The fees they have put forward to us mean that we’d have to double the amount we charge kids in subs to cover these costs,” he said.

“Quite simply we won’t be paying it.

“Families are already struggling as it is and they are asking them to pay even more to have their kids play football and it’s not on. We won’t be laying down we will do absolutely everything we can to ensure these costs do not come into effect.

“I was really pleased to see a good turnout but we need to continue to fight now.

“We have to the kids and families can’t afford it.

“The biggest issue we have is that they haven’t even given a good enough explanation from Sefton Council.

“Now we move on from here and we sit down again with the council on Thursday and then we have a meeting with the Football Association next Thursday.

“But I’m confident we can get this overturned and get sensible prices for the pitches.”

In conjunction with the protest against pitch fees, the league are backing a campaign to save grassroots football across the country and you can sign their e-petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/46134

Original: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/hundreds-children-parents-protest-football-7431811

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