Updated: Friday, 13th September 2019 @ 2:25pm

'Let's make England no. 1': Osborne announces £50m grassroots football project

'Let's make England no. 1': Osborne announces £50m grassroots football project

| By James Gray

George Osborne today announced his intention to make the England football team ‘the very very best in the world’ at the opening of Manchester City’s new academy.

The £50million investment will be split between building all-weather pitches and coaching on the recommendation of the Football Association.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer made the announcement at the opening of Manchester City’s state-of-the-art facility, which itself boasts five artificial pitches, including one full-size indoor pitch.

“The facilities available here are sadly not matched in every town and city across the country in every community,” Osborne said.

“We've got to, as a country, do more to invest more in our grass roots football.”

Since 2000, the Football Foundation, the UK’s largest sports charity, has funded nearly 500 new artificial pitches however Osborne is determined to increase that figure.

“We're making a commitment today to a £50m investment across our country in many more all-weather pitches and more football coaching so that all our youngsters have the chance to shine on the pitch," he added.

“It's an important step forward and it's something the Football Association have recommended to us.

“While it's clear that we've got the very very best football league in the world, I want to make sure we've also got the very very best national team in the world.

“I am a strong believer in improving sporting facilities for young people, which is why I am delighted to oversee the opening of the City Football Academy today.”

The Member of Parliament for Tatton in Cheshire was also quick to praise City’s owner Sheikh Mansoor, and the chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak for his own investment in the North West.

“It's a massive vote of confidence in our country, in our ingenuity and aspirations,” said Osborne.

“We know that you could go anywhere in the world, but your biggest and most exciting investments but are here in the UK.

“Manchester is the footballing capital of the world – this will ensure that it goes on being so.”