Our recent Forum investigated the future of football

Last night a dream team of panelists arrived at our Studio 2 space to discuss the state of football today. A mix of fans and industry heads came out in support and to hear what our speakers had to say, before joining in a panel discussion touching on topics like grassroots football, ticket prices and social media’s impact on the sport.

"This is the richest period of English football but culturally its the poorest," kicked off Andy Walsh, CEO of community-owned football club FC United, in reference to the disparity between the amount of money poured into the Premiere League and the benefits seen by fans. A sentiment echoed across the panel and applauded by the gathered audience.

On a more upbeat note photographer Stuart Roy Clarke, best known for his project Homes of Football – a homage to fans and the game since the early 1990s – was keen to highlight the renaissance of lower league clubs and womens football. “Women don't have the traditions of football to live up to,” he commented, while showcasing some of his celebrated images. “The world is their oyster.”

Naturally Trisha Lewis, of Boiler Room Ladies FC, had a lot more to say about the matter, arguing womens football teams helped her find her feet when she first arrived in London. Additionally, she pointed out brands do good work supporting five-a-side teams, through providing bits of kit and access to all-weather astroturfs. Although, James Roper, co-founder of The Green Soccer Journal, was quick to point out brands and clubs could do a lot more to support younger players in the future.

Our Off The Pitch football forum continues on Linkedin. Click here to ask our panelists a question or join in the discussion. Also watch this space for video footage of all our speakers presentations. And, last but not least, thanks to Wray & Nephew for providing tasty rum cocktails throughout the night.