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FA plan £200M grassroots investment

The Football Association have announced that they are set to invest £200million in grassroots football over the next five years.

The proposals were outlined on Tuesday and represent the largest ever programme of development for football in England.

The FA National Game Strategy 2008-2012 is intended to offer everyone an equal opportunity to get involved in the game and allow the sport to be played, watched and enjoyed in a safe and positive environment.

The plans will see £44million per season dedicated to improving all aspects of the grassroots game, a rise of around £10million a year.

The largest consultation ever conducted by the FA saw 37,000 people canvassed for their opinions on how the money should be spent and their ideas have now been implemented within the strategy.

One key area which the governing body are keen to improve over the next five years is that of respect for officials from both players and spectators.

A statement released on the FA's official website outlines how they intend to implement these plans: "We rely hugely on 400,000 volunteers to run the game at a local level and need to support them more.

"In addition, we will work to improve the behaviour of players and spectators - addressing the critically high numbers of referees dropping out every season because of abuse, as well as providing more support in recruiting and retaining referees.

"We will aim to provide a high-quality coaching environment for every player, whatever their age or ability. We will also put the policies and procedures in place to safeguard our young players."

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