What are the costs of running a grassroots football team?

Posted on: May 24th, 2019 | by Laura Murdoch | No Comments

Last Updated on: 24th December 2021, 10:44 am

Last week we started our handy Pendle guide to setting up your own grassroots football team. That took you through the initial steps every team needs to make.

This week we’re going to take you through the various costs that you should be prepared to pay. Unfortunately, starting your own team is an expensive business and prices are only going to continue to rise. It’s been estimated that, per season, the cost acquired by an 11-a-side team is over £1000 and that’s before you’ve even thought about kit and equipment. So, where exactly does all that money go?


County Affiliation and League Registration

If you’ve read our last post, you’ll remember that your first costs come out quite early in the process. In order to make your team official, you will have to pay to affiliate your team with a County and register to a league. The cost of these will differ but you can expect to have to hand over £80 and £88 per season respectively.

The County FA will mediate all of your dealings with your league and help you with any problems. The league registration fee makes sure that your team can play competitive fixtures. Without these initial costs, your team will not be able to play a match.



Shaking hands over a contract

Created by iconicbestiary – www.freepik.com


Pitch Hire

One vital component of starting your own grassroots football team is finding the right pitch. The problem is, this doesn’t come cheaply. It is estimated that the cost of hiring a pitch is the highest expense a grassroots football team has to face. Current estimates play the price somewhere between £500 and £1000.

So, it’s important that you get it right. You can either search your local area to find any possible pitches or utilise one of the many websites that will do the hard work for you. Sites like Pitch Finder can help you find pitches for hire in your area.

There are two routes you can take when hiring a pitch: council-owned or private. The price you end up paying for the pitch and how you go about acquiring it will be determined by who owns it. Council pitches will generally be less expensive but offer more basic facilities. Private would normally cost that bit extra because you will be paying for better maintenance.

There are benefits and potential problems with either route towards getting a pitch. Your best option is to find out what’s out there and see the facilities for yourself. Bottom line, if you want the best possible pitch then it’s going to cost you.


Pitch Furniture

This all depends on which type of pitch you ended up hiring. You might find that all of your pitch essentials are included in the hire fee. However, some of you might find that you are responsible for providing your own equipment. Thankfully, things like nets and corner flags can be picked up fairly cheaply. You can check out Pendle’s own range of football equipment here to find some bargains.



In 2012, the Football Association carried out a review of insurance across grassroots football. This review highlighted a lack of guidelines, which promoted the FA to introduce a minimum standard across all Counties.

There is a requirement for every team to carry two types of insurance policies.

  • Personal accident insurance – this provides protection for anyone injured in an accident whilst taking part in a club activity where there is no question of club negligence.
  • Public liability insurance – this provides protection made from a third party due to the club’s negligence.

For a more detailed breakdown of the different types of insurance, the Amateur FA website has a detailed outline with examples of each type. Your County will need to see evidence of these insurance policies before they will allow you to become affiliated, which means you won’t be able to join your chosen league.

When the FA set out their new guidelines, they appointed Bluefin Sport as the broker to deliver the National Game Insurance Scheme (NGIS). The NGIS was created to raise the standard of insurance covers available and to provide more affordable solutions for grassroots football teams. To find more information about Bluefin Sport and the NGIS check out their website.


Pendle Sportswear Cheap Amateur Football Kits


Team Kits

Now that we’ve finally tied up all of the basic set-up costs, it’s finally time to start thinking about what your team will look like. One of the most considerable expenses for your team will be buying the kits. On average you’ll most probably be expected to pay in the region of £150-£350 for a full team of children’s kits. An adult team would probably run somewhere within the region of £200-600.

Thankfully, Pendle understands that there are enough financial worries for a grassroots football team. We have full team kit deals (7 full kits and a Goalkeeper kit) from as little as £139 for children and £169 for adults. See how much money you can save with our football team kit deals.


Other equipment

It is most likely going to be a league requirement that you own a first aid kit. You will need to make sure these are topped up regularly. Pendle offers a First-Aid Bundle and a refill kit that will provide your grassroots football team with everything it needs. You can even customise our First-Aid bag to include your club badge.

Obviously, you’ll need to think about other equipment for your matches and training sessions. Clearly, it’s important to get yourselves a fair few footballs to get started. As for the rest, you can weigh up what counts as vital in your early days. After the money you’ve already handed over, you might prefer to start off with the basics and build an arsenal of training gear over time.


Referee showing red card



As we said in our post last month, what is football without a referee? And, in grassroots football, the home team is expected to pay the ref’s fee. The cost of getting an FA qualified referee will be about £25 and around 35p for every mile they need to travel. It’s something that many won’t consider but will need to be taken into account before every home game. When matches are being played at your home ground, you are also responsible for booking the referee and confirming they will attend. Failure to do so could land you with fines.

And speaking of fines, it’s definitely worth reminding your players to respect their match officials. The fine for a yellow card runs at about £15 and the fine for a red at about £35. So, on top of making sure your players are respectful, you’ll want to try and limit the number of extra pay-outs you have to make.


Now what?

So, that might all sound a little bleak and expensive but don’t be discouraged. Starting your own grassroots football team is an immensely rewarding experience and one you won’t regret. You just need to make sure you have someone with great financial control as your treasurer.  And there are plenty of great and fun ways to raise money for your club.

But don’t forget, Pendle Sportswear is a company that understands the needs of a grassroots football team. We know how stretched your budgets are, which is why we’re doing everything in our power to save you money. Check out our amazing deals that will definitely help take a chunk out of some of your start-up costs.


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