Thursday 11th October 2018  

Amateur and semi-professional footballers deserve protection, as well as advice and support for their lives both in and out of football says GMB Union

GMB, Britain’s general union, has launched a ’Footballers United’ branch to protect ‘precarious’ players from injury calamity.

The ground-breaking new initiative has been unveiled on Non-League Day, which is a platform for clubs to promote the importance of affordable volunteer led community football while giving fans across the country the chance to show support for their local non-league sides.

Footballers United is set to help a wide range of footballers – from former Premier League players to non-professionals who have suffered horrific injuries on the pitch that mean they can’t do their day jobs.

The branch is also ready to give non -league footballers the support they deserve, from representation at FA hearings to advice with contracts, making membership essential for everyone involved in the game.

Case studies include:

·        An ex-Premier League player, who now plays non-league, but made the decision to join Footballers Untitled because he is worried about the lack of cover in non-league football

·         A young player who broke his leg and was left with nowhere to turn, no one to pay his wages and no way to pay for his rehabilitation back to fitness.

·        A county league player, who works as a scaffolder, but broke his collarbone, so can’t work. He has a young child and bills to pay and will not be able to work for a number of weeks so will have no income in that time

Footballers United is has been launched by GMB to build on work been done by Our Game and the ASPSU in the world of non-league football.

GMB is working with Our Game to try and provide cover for non-league players in precarious positions.

Francis Duku, GMB Organiser, said:

“Footballers outside the professional levels of the game are in a precarious position and need a union. One bad tackle can leave you with no way to earn money, either from playing or from your day job.

“That means no way to pay your rent, or feed your family, for possibly months or years – just because of one nasty moment on the pitch playing the game we love. It can be a personal calamity.

“GMB believes amateur and semi-professional footballers deserve protection, as well as advice and support for their lives both in and out of football.

“Footballers United will help non-league football people  – regardless of whether player, club staff or fan – to access a number of union services and benefits that will greatly improve their experience of football at this level.

“The impact it has on their lives both on and off the pitch to make sure that the experience of non-league football can be improved for all who want it, as well as creating a network to provide much needed support to all in their everyday lives away from football too.”