The budget is the budget

By September 13, 2023 Articles

In our recent podcast, I mentioned the budget of the GFA for the World Cup in Qatar. I felt it was poignant at the time because I think we sometimes underestimate the work that needs to be done within a football association, and to take the country (from a sporting perspective) to where we’d like to go.

I made the reference in regards to the GFA frequently posting the distribution of equipment. This in the UK, Europe, or US would be uncommon, as a football association (FYI, not a county association). But wouldn’t be uncommon if these were charities in these regions. Which is where I began to off the cuff to think about the comparison between the two – a charity in the UK, Europe, or US, and, the GFA. There are different types and sizes of charities, but could a charity of the medium to large size have a bigger budget than the GFA.

Well, quote –

“Our estimated budget at the group stage was $8.1 million. Out of this estimated budget Mr. Speaker, our total expenditure for the group stage participation amounted to $5,171, 840,” Mustapha Ussif said on the floor of Parliament in December.

With that, I wanted to find football charities in the UK, and draw comparison.

For 2022, the following charities and what they do –

The Football Foundation – The Charity’s current and on-going activities are: to put in place a new generation of modern facilities in parks, local leagues and schools; to provide capital/revenue support to increase participation in grass roots football, and to strengthen the links between football and the community and to harness its potential as a force for good in society.

The income for the charity as of June 2022 was £79,140,218

Bloomsbury Football Foundation – Bloomsbury Football Foundation uses the power of football to improve the lives of young people in London.

The income for the charity as of June 2022 was £1,382,661

Street League – Street League use sport and physical activity to tackle youth unemployment. We do this by working with young people who live in the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, and engage them in structured football, fitness or dance fitness and education programmes with a view to getting participants into work, mainstream education or training.

The income for the charity as of June 2022 was £7,074,959

The estimated budget of $8.1m was for the biggest tournament in the world, in what likely had the largest budgets ever.


I don’t have access/knowledge for the budget for what would have been the whole or remaining season. But with all the above, I think it’s important we find understanding and take stock of the differences.

Size and revenue: The English FA is one of the wealthiest football associations in the world due to the popularity and financial success of English football leagues like the Premier League. It generates substantial revenue from broadcasting rights, sponsorship deals, and ticket sales. In contrast, the Ghana Football Association has a smaller revenue base as football in Ghana, while popular, does not generate the same level of income as English football.

Development programs: The English FA has extensive development programs aimed at nurturing talent, coaching education, and grassroots football initiatives. Funding grassroots initiatives helps increase participation in football at the grassroots level. This not only helps identify talent early but also fosters a love for the sport, which can have long-term benefits for the nation’s football culture.

These programs are well-funded and reach various age groups and communities across England. The GFA also has development programs, but their scope and budget are more limited in comparison.

Coaching and facilities: Adequate funding enables football associations to hire experienced coaches, improve training facilities, and provide better resources for player development. This contributes to the overall quality of the national teams and domestic leagues.

Coaching and facilities: Adequate funding enables football associations to hire experienced coaches, improve training facilities, and provide better resources for player development. This contributes to the overall quality of the national teams and domestic leagues.

Travel and preparation: Adequate financial resources are needed for national teams to travel for international competitions, participate in training camps, and arrange friendly matches. Proper preparation is critical for success in major tournaments.

Infrastructure: The English FA has invested significantly in football infrastructure, including stadiums, training facilities, and youth academies. This has contributed to the growth and development of football in England. In Ghana, there may be fewer resources available for such infrastructure development.

National teams: The budgets for national teams can differ significantly. The English national team (e.g., England men’s and women’s teams) receives substantial funding for player salaries, coaching staff, travel, and other expenses. Ghana’s national teams have budget constraints that can impact their competitiveness and preparation for international competitions.

Sponsorship and commercial deals: The English FA benefits from lucrative sponsorship and commercial deals with major companies, which provide a substantial portion of their revenue. These deals are often based on the popularity of English football. The GFA also has sponsorships, but they are typically on a smaller scale.

Governance and administration: The English FA, as a larger organization, has a more extensive administrative structure, which may include more employees, higher salaries, and associated expenses. The GFA, due to its smaller scale, may have a leaner administrative structure.

It’s important to note that the specific budgetary details for these football associations can change over time due to various factors, including economic conditions, sponsorship deals, and changes in football development strategies. Therefore, the differences mentioned above can evolve over the years.

In summary, budget differences between football associations can significantly impact their ability to invest in player development, infrastructure, coaching, and administration. These factors, in turn, can influence the success of their national teams and the overall health of football within their respective countries. There’s not much to conclude, but to provide insight and understanding as to the differences in resources and how it impacts your productivity and success.

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Written by Andrew Mensah-Twumasi @andrewmensahjr (IG/Twitter)


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