Almost 1,000 public football pitches lost since 2010, survey suggests

Almost 1,000 public football pitches have been lost in the UK since 2010, new research suggests.

A study by the GMB union found there are hundreds of fewer local authority-owned or operated football pitches today than in 2009/10.

The report, published as England and Scotland prepare to kick off their campaigns in the Euros in Germany, showed that the worst hit areas for pitches being lost were Scotland, Northern England and Wales.

The figures come from a Freedom of Information request made by GMB to local authorities in the UK.

Rachel Harrison, GMB national secretary, said at the union’s annual conference in Bournemouth: “The England and Scotland men’s teams are about to begin their European Championship campaigns, with the hopes of the two nations resting on their shoulders.

“Yet before a ball has even been kicked, the next generation of footballers have already lost.

“Losing almost 1,000 council football pitches could crush grassroots football in the UK and is yet another deeply depressing legacy of the Conservative’s austerity mission.”