Golf in England is now worth more than Manchester United

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams August 27, 2014 13:50

Golf in England is now worth more than Manchester United

One bit of good news for Louis van Gaal is that his poor start as manager of Manchester United has absolutely nothing to do with the revelation that English golf is now worth more than the Premier League club.

Much more in fact.

The England Golf Partnership has found that golf is worth £3.4 billion to the English economy every year in a new report.

By contrast, states the organisation, “the Manchester United sports franchise was reported by Forbes in January 2013 to be worth £2.1 billion.”

In fact £3.4 billion is what the Premier League generates from domestic broadcasting … every three years.

The report, commissioned by the England Golf Partnership and prepared by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS, reveals that golf employs 48,500 people in England, that one person in every 19, or 2.8 million people, in England plays golf at least once a year, that collectively every golf club in England generates £1.88 billion from green fees, membership fees, food and beverage, driving ranges and golf lessons each year, that £442 million is spent each year in golf course maintenance and investment, and that golf generates at least £40 million per year for charity.

The report states: “Even in difficult economic times and against a background of concerns that the game may not be being played to the extent that it once was, it is still a huge contributor to the English economy with an economic contribution of £3.4 billion.”

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Spokesman Roger Moreland commented: “Golf is hugely important to the economy of England and has the potential to make an even greater contribution. This report shows the scale of the golf industry and underlines the importance of developing the game and growing the number of regular golfers and club members.”

In total, golf’s £3.4 billion annual contribution is equal to £61 for every man, woman and child in the country.

The report identifies the “immense” opportunity for further growth if more women can be attracted into the game.


Golf is now worth more than Manchester United. Image by Anthony Beal

The country currently lags behind the other main European golfing nations with its proportion of women players: in England around 14 per cent of golfers are women; in the leading European countries the figure is around 30 per cent.

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams August 27, 2014 13:50
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