WHY DO YOU LOVE SOCCER? In Short, Soccer is life.
What do soccer people really think, in short, soccer is everything. soccer is life..
Yes, this is a list of quotes from top people involved in the game of soccer …and the quotes all celebrate how the game empowers, challenges and connects us all. Let us remember, regardless of our differences, soccer unites all of us together by our shared passion.
“I love that it’s the player’s game. At its best, the coaches, fans and everything else fades away and on the field, a player gets to be the decision-maker and the true creator,” said Lynn Berling-Manuel, CEO – United Soccer Coaches
I love the opportunities that soccer provides, especially for our youth —health, self-esteem, friendships and most importantly, a passion for life. Dr. Pete Zophi, Chair of U.S. Youth Soccer
“What do I love? I love the excitement and patriotism of our national teams — and the sheer enjoyment on Saturday mornings at local soccer parks while watching the game being played by children,” said Tim Turney , Vice Chair for U.S. Youth Soccer , and a member of the U.S. Soccer Federation
“It is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle.” Sarah Kate “Skate” Noftsinger, Director of Marketing & Fan Engagement for the Atlanta United FC
“What I love about soccer? The ability to unite communities and change lives. It’s a sport that when lead right, is at the forefront of intersectionality, inclusion, and representation. Above all, I love the freedom and passion it unlocks,” said Sarah Kate “Skate” Noftsinger , Director of Marketing & Fan Engagement for the Atlanta United FC
The game is all about the players. It promotes freedom and creativity. What could be more beautiful? John O’Sullivan, Speaker, Founder of Changing the Game Project
“I love soccer because it brings tangible joy. Since it is a game played with our feet, it is a game of mistakes and frustration. Once you overcome, you have tangible pleasure from something that once may have seemed insurmountable,” Montele Graves, University of San Diego Women coach and San Diego Surf
“Soccer’s community environment supersedes borders and offers a great opportunity for diversity & inclusion.” Mary Jane Bender, Executive Director of Illinois Youth Soccer Association
“Soccer in America looks very bright with the young players we are developing. Great Times Ahead,” said Michael Collins , President – California United Strikers FC
“Love that it’s always evolving, the creativity is incredible.” Michael Collins, President – California United Strikers FC
Soccer is clearly becoming the most positive beacon of social justice and making this world 🌎 a better place. Anson Dorrance, former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach and current University of North Carolina head women’s soccer coach, and the 2016 winner of the Werner Fricker Builder Award
“I have just returned from Miami where I was at a glorious celebration: the marriage of Ashlyn and Ali. And honestly, what I absolutely love about soccer right now is how it brings me even closer to the people I care about,” said Anson Dorrance, University of North Carolina head women’s soccer coach.
“Football is a great school of life … you learn everything, for example how to relate to others, how to lose, how to deal with adversity, you learn to fight for your mates and how to stay humble when you win,” said Eddie Loewen, Founder – Global Soccer Development
“The game of soccer is unique versus all other sports — it has a special way of bringing players, coaches, families, and fans from different cultures and different walks of life to enjoy ninety minutes of unpredictable sport creativity,” said Yan Skwara , Commissioner UPSL .
“I love soccer because of the passion within the game which unites the entire world … there is no sport that compares or does the same. Noah Gins, CEO – Albion SC / ASC San Diego
“What I love about soccer is being involved with a sport that brings people of all different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and other differences together with a common bond both on and off the field,” said Sean Jones , President of WPSL
“I love that every touch on the ball is different and every player brings their own creativity to the game,” said Francesco Cleaves, United Women’s Soccer
“I love the individuality as well as teamwork, all in a single sport.” Sam Snow, Founder
“I like players being able to think for themselves on how to play the game. I love the global participation in soccer. I love the joy the game brings to untold millions of people,” said Sam Snow , CEO of American Made Soccer Consultants
“I love the game when watching mature, skillful, unpredictable play and constant movement off the ball. I also love the relationships and travel throughout the years involved in the game,” said Bobby Lennon, USL Hall of Famer, Founder Marbella United FC
“Why do I love Soccer? Soccer is powerful, sweet, physical, nimble, speedy, intelligent, magical. Cle Kooiman, Former U.S. National Team defender
“Soccer is also universal, bruising, quick, beautiful, sexy, restless, perfect and imperfect, competitive, personality, color, exciting, united, together, teamwork, commitment, special, impressive as well as 1000 more amazing adjectives. In short, soccer is everything. Soccer is life,” said Cle Kooiman – Director of Girls at Legends FC and member of the 1994 World Cup U.S. Men’s National Team and former Captain of Cruz Azul Mexico .
I love helping to develop players from a young age to play in the English Premier League — such as Declan Rice,” said Ian Yuill , Head of Technical Development for West Ham United (20-year-old Rice is now on the EPL squad at West Ham United and joined their academy when he was 14-years old.)
“The opportunity to bring fun and enjoyment to young players by taking them to their maximum level, whatever that may be.” Barry Ritson, U.S. Soccer U16 Girls’ National Team Coach
“I love the way soccer brings people together. Being a part of a team that fights for one another is very special. The lessons you learn about hard work, winning, losing, battling- you take with you for your entire life,” said Brooke Kentera , Co-Founder & Vice President at ScoutingZone
“The World 🌎 sport in over 100 countries I have visited, soccer unites people from young and old from every race and gender,” Cherif Zein , Founder, CZ Elite FC
“Crossing borders, economic status, languages, religions, and cultures — soccer is truly the world’s game. ❤️ I love soccer because it is the single thing that connects more people around our planet than anything else,” said Otto Orf II, former U.S. Men’s National Futsal goalkeeper and now Director of U.S. Youth Futsal Great Lakes Futsal .
Soccer is a Global Game and it is for Everyone
“You express yourself during and through the game and it connects people throughout the Globe.” Eddie Loewen, Founder – Global Soccer Development
“I love the people that it brings into my life — high school teammates and coaches gave me a lifetime of memories followed by four years with college teammates that were more fun on and off the field than I would have ever dreamed. Then Fifteen years at MLS working nationally televised events and now five-plus years at New Jersey Youth Soccer — all the while, meeting life long friends and mentors,” said Evan Dabby , Executive Director – NJ Youth Soccer.
“I love soccers ability to bring communities together!” Rick Kelsey, CEO of Arizona Soccer Association
“I love that it gives me a language that connects 211 countries and that it sends me around the World!” said Tom Byer, Founder Soccer Starts At Home .
“I love soccer for how it brings people of all backgrounds together and the reflection of sometimes of life in the game,” said Johnson Asiedu , Technical Director FC Golden State – San Diego .
“I love the beauty of the game itself. The collective efforts of an entire team to rely on and trust each other for an end result that results in joy for the entire team,” Michael Higgins , General Manager of OC Surf .
Soccer is such a beautiful game, I LOVE the creativity of the game … the jukes, the flicks, the fakes, and faints ❤️ Lindsey Huile, 4 Time Hall of Famer and 4 Time All- American, now youth soccer coach and player on LA Galaxy OC – Women’s, UWS Champions 2019
“The game provides the opportunity for individual creativity and team cohesion to compliment each other in the pursuit of excellence,” said Ron Quinn , Director of MEd in Coaching Education & Athlete Development – Xavier University .
Soccer is the greatest sport in the world Kenny Farrell, Chairman of the Board of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL)
“I love soccer because there is always an answer for everyone at every level, no matter where you come from. When it comes to life, we just need to realize there is also always an answer, and then we CAN and DO achieve amazing things,” said Kenny Farrell, Chairman of the Board of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
“I love that soccer teaches all players valuable life lessons and provides amazing experiences and opportunities,” said Tim Woodcock, CEO Liverpool FC International Academy SoCal .
Soccer is a good analogy for life – relationships, trust, goal orientation, and the rush of emotion that comes from achieving a shared goal. Maruizio Grillo, Head Coach, Sarah Lawrence College Women’s Soccer
“What I love about soccer is my soccer family! I have chosen to impact my community in Oceanside through my work in Soccer… and the game has blessed me with the most amazing soccer family ever,” said Frank Zimmerman , SC of Oceanside.
I love that the game is so different in its artistic forms, allowing coaches/players to create their own style via a synchronized movement with and without the ball. Yossi Raz, Head Men’s Soccer Coach at UCI
“The game brings together people of all backgrounds into one locker room and makes them feel like family, helping them share their cultures and, ultimately, allows them to build memories for a lifetime,” said Yossi Raz , Head Men’s Soccer Coach at UCI .
“What I love about soccer is the instant bond you can make with a total stranger talking about the beautiful game or kicking the ball around. It’s truly the world’s game, bringing together people from all walks of like and every corner of the world,” said Eric Bucchere, founder and CEO of Path2Pro Soccer .
Perhaps Steve Gans deserves the final word …
“One can go to a field and play pickup soccer with several different people who don’t speak the same language in their native tongues, and yet, the minute the game begins, everyone speaks the same language, the universal language of soccer,” said Steve Gans , who ran for president of U.S. Soccer and has been involved in American soccer since the 1970s.
“Like no other sport — or perhaps human activity— soccer bridges gaps and brings the world together.” Steve Gans
Join Our Mailing List For Regular Soccer Updates
Enter your email address to continue.
- Thank you for reading SoccerToday! We are thrilled you want to join our 250,000 subscribers and get our news delivered to your inbox.
- Email Address *
Diane Scavuzzo is the Editor in Chief and loves her work, family, and soccer not necessarily in that order. Scavuzzo started covering soccer in 2010 and has published over 6,000 articles on the beautiful game.
18-YEAR-OLD FRANCIS CASTILLO ON TRIAL AT CADIZ CF IN SPAIN
BLUSOL HEAT SHIELD SAVES SOCCER FEET
NYU’S KIM WYANT ON THE VALUE OF COLLEGIATE SOCCER
BAY AREA SURF BRINGS TOGETHER ELITE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA YOUTH SOCCER CLUBS
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT’S ARMIN KRAAZ ON DON’T RELY ON TALENT – BE RESILIENT
HECTOR TRUJILLO INTERVIEW WITH 1904 FC’S OZZIE RAMOS
HECTOR TRUJILLO INTERVIEW WITH FORMER SD LOYAL NOW OAKLAND’S TAREK MORAD
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT’S ARMIN KRAAZ ON WHAT AMERICAN YOUTH SOCCER PLAYERS NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL
A TIME TO RISE: THE REASONS WE NEED A SECOND LEVEL WOMEN’S PRO SOCCER LEAGUE
AS DALLAS CUP RETURNS TO PLAY – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ANDY SWIFT SPEAKS OUT
OATMEAL FOR SOCCER: Nutrition Info for Competitive Players
NUTRITION FOR SOCCER PLAYERS: WHAT TO EAT WHEN
SOCCER PLAYERS: WHAT AND WHEN TO EAT ON GAME DAY
NUTRITION FOR SOCCER PLAYERS: IS SALT GOOD FOR ATHLETES?
GOOD NUTRITION FOR SOCCER PLAYERS: TOP TEN FOODS TO EAT
SMART HEART HEALTHY CHOICES: Nutrition Info for Soccer Players
NUTRITION FOR SOCCER PLAYERS: TOP TEN FOODS TO AVOID
Nutrition Info for Competitive Soccer Players
SOCCER PLAYERS: CAN PERFORMANCE PROBIOTICS MAKE YOU RUN FASTER?
NUTRITION FOR SOCCER PLAYERS: WANT HUGE GAINS IN PERFORMANCE & RECOVERY?
Fc dallas trains with bayern munich.
FIFA WORLD CUP FINAL GOES TO NY/NJ
Official candidate for 2024 u.s. soccer vice presidential election: nathán goldberg crenier, youth soccer player caleb simmons joins ny red bulls academy, soccer lovers book review: net gains, new jersey youth soccer awards dinner, unraveling the road to fifa world cup 2026.
TENNESSEE STATE SOCCER ASSOCIATION HOSTS DINNER
JOHN GALLUCCI ON SOCCER PLAYERS: THE COLD FACTS ON WHEN TO ICE
THE TRUE GIFT OF YOUTH SOCCER – WHY IS WINNING MORE IMPORTANT THAN ….
Sorry. No data so far.
- How It Works
- All Projects
- Write my essay
- Buy essay online
- Custom coursework
- Creative writing
- Custom admission essay
- College essay writers
- IB extended essays
- Buy speech online
- Pay for essays
- College papers
- Do my homework
- Write my paper
- Custom dissertation
- Buy research paper
- Buy dissertation
- Write my dissertation
- Essay for cheap
- Essays for sale
- Non-plagiarized essays
- Buy coursework
- Term paper help
- Buy assignment
- Custom thesis
- Custom research paper
- College paper
- Coursework writing
- Edit my essay
- Nurse essays
- Business essays
- Custom term paper
- Buy college essays
- Buy book report
- Cheap custom essay
- Argumentative essay
- Assignment writing
- Custom book report
- Custom case study
- Doctorate essay
- Finance essay
- Scholarship essays
- Essay topics
- Research paper topics
- Top queries link
Best Sports Essay Examples
Why i love soccer.
346 words | 2 page(s)
Soccer is my favorite sport and not just because it is the most popular sport in the world. I love soccer because, in addition to being a fun activity, it also teaches me skills that will benefit me in all aspects of my life. In other words, the thing I like most about soccer is its educational value.
One of the most important lessons I have learnt by playing soccer is the importance of teamwork. While soccer stars become popular and perceived to be the main difference between good and bad team, I think such a perception is mostly inaccurate. Good teams are not those with one or two star players but those that have mastered the art of teamwork. Teamwork is not only important in soccer but also in everyday life whether at school or in workplace. Today, professionals increasingly work on complex projects, thus, strong teamwork skills will greatly benefit me in my professional life.
Use your promo and get a custom paper on "Why I Love Soccer".
I have also learnt about the importance of leadership in soccer. I have noticed captains in soccer teams may have good soccer skills but they are not always the best players in their respective teams. Instead, captains are those that are respected by every player and they can keep the whole team together. I believe leaders in real world are also those that can inspire others and not necessarily those who have the best skills or the most talent.
Soccer has also taught me the importance of communication; both verbal and nonverbal communication. The ability of teams to play well depends upon the quality of communication among its players. Good soccer teams are those in which players understand each other and can even communication nonverbally. I have heard from many professional communication is one of the skills most desired by employers.
It is clear soccer is not merely a sport but also holds tremendous educational value. I enjoy soccer but at the same time I have also been able to improve my teamwork, leadership, and communication skills by playing soccer. This makes me more confident about my professional future.
Have a team of vetted experts take you to the top, with professionally written papers in every area of study.
why i love soccer essay
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is played by people of all ages, genders, and cultures. Soccer is a sport that requires skill, stamina, and strength. It is a team sport that teaches players how to work together to achieve a common goal. Soccer is also a very dangerous sport, with many players sustaining injuries each year. Despite all of these risks, I still love soccer.
Soccer is a sport that requires athleticism, skill, and tactics.
Why do I love soccer? Soccer is a sport that requires athleticism, skill, and tactics. It is a sport that can be played by anyone, regardless of their physical ability. Soccer is a sport that teaches teamwork, sportsmanship, and discipline. It is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Soccer is a sport that can be played by people of all ages and sizes.
Soccer is a sport that requires both physical and mental skills. Soccer is a sport that can be enjoyed by both players and spectators. Soccer is a sport that teaches teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship.
Soccer is a sport that teaches teamwork and sportsmanship.
I love soccer because it is a sport that requires both physical and mental skills. Soccer also teaches teamwork and sportsmanship, two qualities that are essential in life. I have played soccer since I was a child and have always enjoyed the challenge of trying to improve my skills. Soccer is a sport that anyone can play, regardless of their physical abilities. It is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Soccer is a sport that can be enjoyed by spectators as well as participants.
There are few things more thrilling than watching a soccer match. The ebb and flow of the game, the excitement of the goals, and the drama of the close calls all add up to an experience that is simply unmatched. But beyond just being a spectator, I love playing soccer as well.
There is something about running around on a field trying to kick a ball into a net that is just incredibly fun. Scoring a goal is one of the best feeling in the world, and working as part of a team to achieve that goal is an incredible bonding experience. Soccer is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, and I am so grateful to have found something that I love so much.
Why I Love Soccer Essay Conclusion
I absolutely love soccer. I mean, what’s not to love? Soccer is a sport that requires immense stamina, athleticism, and skill. It’s a beautiful game that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world.
I started playing soccer when I was just a young kid, and I immediately fell in love with it. There was something about running around the field and kicking the ball that just felt so natural to me. Over the years, I’ve developed into a pretty decent player. I’m not going to pretend like I’m some world-class superstar, but I can definitely hold my own against most people.
Whenever I watch a soccer match, whether it’s on TV or in person, I can’t help but get sucked in. There’s something about the fluidity of the game and the excitement of the moments that just gets me every time. I even enjoy watching matches that don’t involve my favorite team; it’s just that fascinating to me.
In conclusion, I love soccer because it’s an amazing sport that is enjoyed by people all over the world. It requires immense skill and athleticism, and it’s just so much fun to watch and play. If you’ve never given soccer a try, I highly recommend it; you just might fall in love with it too.
- Racism In Football | Big Issue Free Example Essay
- Essay On Badminton In 100 Words
- Essay On Teamwork | Free Sample For Students
- Teamwork Vs Individual Work Essay
- Recent Posts
- Essay On Ruby Bridges: School Desegregation in New Orleans - March 1, 2024
- Essay On Harriet Tubman: Beacon of Freedom on Underground Railroad - March 1, 2024
- Essay On George Washington Carver: From Peanuts to Possibilities - March 1, 2024
Leave a Comment Cancel reply
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Essay on Why I Love My Favorite Sport
I love soccer because it’s the best game ever! Soccer is not just a sport; it’s like magic happening on the green field. There are so many reasons why I love soccer.
Firstly, soccer is super fun! Running around, kicking the ball, and scoring goals make me feel like I’m flying. The excitement of trying to outsmart the other team and working together with my friends to win is the best feeling ever. When I’m on the soccer field, I forget about everything else, and it’s like a big adventure where anything can happen.
Secondly, soccer helps me stay fit and healthy. Instead of sitting inside and playing video games, I get to run and jump, which is great for my body. It’s like exercising without even realizing it because I’m having so much fun. I feel strong and full of energy after a good game of soccer, and that’s something I really love about it.
Another reason I love soccer is the friends I’ve made through playing the game. When we’re on the field, we’re not just a team, we’re like a family. We cheer each other on, help each other when things get tough, and celebrate victories together. The bond we share is something special, and it makes playing soccer even more enjoyable.
Soccer also teaches me important life lessons. I learn about teamwork, discipline, and never giving up. Even if we lose a game, it’s not the end of the world. We pick ourselves up, learn from our mistakes, and try again. These lessons are not just for soccer; they help me in school, at home, and in everything I do.
Lastly, soccer is a game that anyone can play. You don’t need fancy equipment or a big field. All you need is a ball and some friends, and you can have a great time. It’s a sport that brings people together, no matter where they’re from or how old they are. That’s why I love soccer – it’s a game for everyone.
Soccer is my favorite sport because it’s fun, keeps me healthy, helps me make friends, teaches me important life lessons, and is accessible to everyone. It’s more than just a game; it’s a source of joy and excitement in my life. Every time I step onto the soccer field, I know I’m in for a fantastic adventure, and that’s why I love my favorite sport so much!
More Educational Resources
Explore similar educational resources that improve a variety of skills and cultivate a love for learning.
A Post Office
A Visit to My Grandmother’s House
Value of trees
- High School
- American History
- Asian History
- Antique Literature
- American Literature
- Asian Literature
- Classic English Literature
- World Literature
- Creative Writing
- Criminal Justice
- Legal Issues
- Political Science
- World Affairs
- African-American Studies
- East European Studies
- Latin-American Studies
- Native-American Studies
- West European Studies
- Family and Consumer Science
- Social Issues
- Women and Gender Studies
- Social Work
- Natural Sciences
- Earth science
- Agricultural Studies
- Computer Science
- IT Management
- Engineering and Technology
- Medicine and Health
- Alternative Medicine
- Communications and Media
- Communication Strategies
- Public Relations
- Educational Theories
- Teacher's Career
- Company Analysis
- Education Theories
- Canadian Studies
- Food Safety
- Relation of Global Warming and Extreme Weather Condition
- Movie Review
- Admission Essay
- Annotated Bibliography
- Application Essay
- Article Critique
- Article Review
- Article Writing
- Book Review
- Business Plan
- Business Proposal
- Capstone Project
- Cover Letter
- Creative Essay
- Dissertation - Abstract
- Dissertation - Conclusion
- Dissertation - Discussion
- Dissertation - Hypothesis
- Dissertation - Introduction
- Dissertation - Literature
- Dissertation - Methodology
- Dissertation - Results
- GCSE Coursework
- Grant Proposal
- Marketing Plan
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Personal Statement
- Power Point Presentation
- Power Point Presentation With Speaker Notes
- Reaction Paper
- Research Paper
- Research Proposal
- SWOT analysis
- Thesis Paper
- Online Quiz
- Literature Review
- Movie Analysis
- Statistics problem
- Math Problem
- All papers examples
- How It Works
- Money Back Policy
- We Are Hiring
I Love Soccer, Speech Example
Hire a Writer for Custom Speech
Use 10% Off Discount: "custom10" in 1 Click 👇
You are free to use it as an inspiration or a source for your own work.
Hello, my name is (Insert FirstName LastName). I am a soccer player. I love soccer because of the physicality of the sport, the rules, and the movements you make when playing. I love the feeling of juggling the ball on my feet and pulling a Ronaldo or an L pull to evade attackers or defenders. Soccer is a big part of what made me who I am today. Another aspect of soccer that I enjoy is watching games live or on TV. This is essentially helpful to skill building because I can watch the professional players play and then mimic their moves on the field myself.
Thus, because I love soccer, so much the toy I brought in is my favorite soccer ball from the last Fifa World Cup. I love this ball so much because it represents some of my favorite teams playing during the last World Cup. It is symbolic of my love for soccer as well as the players which have inspired me to go as far as I am able financially in my local clubs. Soccer is a big part of who I am and always will be. Thus, this is why the soccer jersey I chose to wear is significant. It’s a Messi jersey which is one of my favorite players of all time. His skills are iconic and unsurpassable by most. An item of pride I chose was the medal I won at one of my soccer tournaments for sportsmanship and being a fair player. I don’t like to play dirty. An item that represents my family in conjunction with soccer is a family photo I have of my siblings and me all in jerseys after our games one weekend. One of the last memorable experiences I have is a memory of my friends and I playing a pick-up game in the park. Of course, my team won.
Overall, soccer is a huge part of my life and has made me the person I am today. I love soccer and the way moving the ball around the field, and my body feels. I have many different memorable experiences and items from my time playing soccer, such as my Messi jersey which I cherish immensely. Ultimately, soccer is and always will be a huge part of my life.
Stuck with your Speech?
Get in touch with one of our experts for instant help!
The Case of Scream by Valerie Wee, Essay Example
Marriage and Family History, Essay Example
Time is precious
don’t waste it!
Money back guarantee
Related Speech Samples & Examples
The importance of history, speech example.
Rubbish Problem in Hong Kong, Speech Example
Tomorrow’s Workforce, Speech Example
The History of Football, Speech Example
Why Everyone Should Consider a Vegan Diet, Speech Example
Republican Stereotype, Speech Example
- Share full article
Why the Cost of Success in English Soccer’s Lower Leagues Keeps Going Up
Buying a small-town club offers a tempting entry to ownership. But the sport’s economics mean even multimillionaires can struggle to compete.
By Rory Smith
Rory Smith spoke with a dozen team owners, investors, executives and academics to explore the soaring costs in the lower reaches of English soccer.
Geoff Thompson knows there are plenty of people who want to buy what he has to sell. The phone calls and emails over the last few weeks have left no doubt. And really, that is no surprise. Few industries are quite as appealing or as prestigious as English soccer, and Mr. Thompson has a piece of it.
It is, admittedly, a comparatively small piece: South Shields F.C. , the team he has owned for almost a decade, operates in English soccer’s sixth tier, several levels below, and a number of worlds away, from the dazzling light and international allure of the Premier League. But while his team might be small, Mr. Thompson is of the view that it is, at least, as perfectly poised for profitability as any minor-league English soccer club could hope to be.
South Shields has earned four promotions to higher leagues in his nine years as chairman. The team owns its stadium. Mr. Thompson has spent considerable sums of money modernizing the bathrooms, the club shop and the private boxes. There is a thriving youth academy and an active charitable foundation. “We have done most of the hard yards,” Mr. Thompson said.
After a cancer scare last year led him to reassess his priorities, Mr. Thompson has, reluctantly, decided that he has to “hand the baton” to someone else.
That is where things becomes complicated. There are plenty of very wealthy people who want to buy their way into English soccer. It is, as Mr. Thompson said, “fun.” Owning a team offers the chance to “be a hero” to a place. It is a pitch sufficiently compelling that, in a matter of weeks, at least four suitors — two British, two American — have inquired about taking South Shields off his hands.
That is the upside. The downside is that — as the Premier League has become a playground for private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds, and as the “ Welcome to Wrexham ” success has focused Hollywood’s searchlight on the romance of the game’s backwaters — England’s minor leagues have become a place where even the very rich can feel poor.
The league to which South Shields has risen, the National League North, is largely stocked with part-time teams and semiprofessional players, but the team’s salary bill still stands at around $1.2 million a year. (Even that is not the highest in the division.) Mr. Thompson estimates he has invested around $10 million of his own money in the club. He knows he will not recoup most of that.
And that, he says, is fine. He is happy to have created something to treasure in South Shields, his modest hometown, a place, he said, that is “always in the wrong quartile for obesity, for poverty, for unemployment.”
“I feel all right about it,” he said. “Even if they sound like the words of a madman.”
The challenge is finding a person to succeed him who feels the same way. The South Shields he has built boasts healthy crowds, no debt and reduced risk. He does not want all of his work to disappear when his successor realizes that the money will not go quite as far as one might hope. “I don’t want it to wither on the vine,” he said.
Chasing the Dream
Simon Leslie does not know how or when his ambition to own a soccer team came about. It was just something he knew, and had known, for some time. “I always wanted to own a club,” he said. “I thought it looked like the coolest, sexiest job in the world.”
Before the advent of the Premier League three decades ago, Mr. Leslie’s background — he founded Ink, a company that produces a portfolio of in-flight magazines, and sold his stake in 2022 — would have made him a likely candidate to own a team in the upper reaches of English soccer.
Now, though, the cost of entry into the top flight is essentially out of reach for the merely extraordinarily wealthy: Jim Ratcliffe, one of the world’s richest men, recently spent well over $1 billion to buy just a 25 percent stake in Manchester United. Rising prices have caused an inflationary spike farther down, meaning that even buying into the second tier league, known as the Championship, is prohibitively expensive.
“You need nation-state money to buy a Premier League team,” as Mr. Thompson put it. “A team in the Championship needs hundreds of millions.”
Last year, Mr. Leslie realized his dream in the sixth tier instead, taking a majority stake in Eastbourne Borough, a mainstay of the National League South, the geographical counterweight to the division South Shields calls home. In the town of Eastbourne — genteel, coastal, artsy — Mr. Leslie saw opportunity.
He had a bold vision for what its soccer team could become: a haven for players released by elite academies, and sustained by a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center — “cryotherapy, cold plasma, everything,” he said — sandwiched between the sea and the rolling hills of the South Downs.
It would be wrong to say that money was no object, but Mr. Leslie was prepared to invest. He has spent around $600,000 in his first season, hiring not only players but also sports scientists, talent spotters and chefs. He expects to invest the same amount in his second year. The aim is to break even by 2026 since there is, Mr. Leslie said, a “limit to how much I am prepared to lose.”
But the inflationary effect that has priced even the superwealthy out of top-tier soccer is now being felt throughout the various strata of English soccer: Across the country, there are dozens of investors pouring vast sums into teams in the three divisions of the semiprofessional National League and even into the sprawling, hyperlocal amateur tiers below that.
“It’s not just that teams from the divisions above come to sign our players,” Mr. Leslie said. “We’ve had clubs from the Isthmian League, the level below, offering players more money than we pay them.”
They can do so because — unlike the Premier League or the three professional tiers of the Football League just below it — England’s minor leagues have no cost controls. Owners can spend what they like, and they are incentivized to do so because of the potential reward: Promotion to the Football League can mean about $1.2 million a year in broadcasting revenue alone.
“It’s in the National League that people think they can make money,” Mr. Leslie said.
Over the course of his first few months at Eastbourne, he has come to realize that is much easier said than done.
A Losing Gamble
English soccer has an unfortunate habit of viewing its beloved pyramid only from the top down. As it descends from the cash-soaked Premier League through the ambitious Championship to the dozens of semiprofessional and amateur leagues below that, the depth and breadth of the league system seem to illustrate not only the sport’s popularity but also its health.
Observe the pyramid from the bottom up, though, and the impression is different. It is steep, and daunting, and quickly narrowing.
Only two National League clubs can be promoted each season into the Football League, unlocking its coveted television income.
“Clubs spend an inordinate amount of money to get out” of the lower leagues, said Christina Philippou, a lecturer in sports finance at the University of Portsmouth. “That means if others want to compete, they have to spend similar.” And that, she said, “creates a spiral.”
It is one drastic enough that it surprises even those who might have grown accustomed to it. “I see some of the teams spending money, and I’m flabbergasted,” said Gary Douglas, the chairman of Guiseley, a National League North team in a suburb of Leeds. “There are teams with fairly small crowds who suddenly have these huge budgets.”
The change, he said, has been gradual. He first invested in soccer in 2006, joining with two friends to take control of Guiseley. Their combined wealth made the club the “richest in nonleague,” as Steve Parkin, one of the members of Mr. Douglas’s triumvirate, said at the time of the purchase.
That is most certainly not the case anymore. Money has poured into the minor leagues in recent years, even before Wrexham — both the team and the documentary — brought an unanticipated allure to the lower reaches of English soccer. Now there are dozens of wealthy owners prepared to gamble that they will be the ones who succeed.
“The National League is the golden goose,” Mr. Douglas said.
Quite how risky an investment it is, though, can be seen in the clubs’ finances. In 2022, the last year for which a full set of figures is available, clubs in the three divisions of the National League reported a combined loss of $25 million . Two-thirds of the league’s teams were effectively insolvent, their liabilities dwarfing their assets. That pattern is most likely repeated even further down the pyramid where revenues are even smaller.
“It’s got disaster written all over it,” Dr. Philippou said.
For some, deliverance will come with escape, and promotion. But far more teams — and their owners — are destined to be disappointed. Like Mr. Douglas, the Guiseley chairman, they might find themselves committed financially and emotionally, unable to leave.
“Once you’re in, you’re in,” he said.
Or they might, like Mr. Thompson, the South Shields chairman, have to start the long, exacting search for a suitable replacement: someone who will build on, rather than dismantle, their work. That, after all, is kind of how the system works.
“The model is that, for reasons of ego or for emotion, there are always new people waiting when one particular individual’s journey at a club ends,” Dr. Philippou said.
It only works, though, she added, because of the belief that “there will always be someone else who comes along.”
Rory Smith is a global sports correspondent, based in the north of England. He also writes the “ On Soccer With Rory Smith ” newsletter. More about Rory Smith
Inside the World of Sports
Dive deeper into the people, issues and trends shaping professional, collegiate and amateur athletics..
A New Frontier: For the first time, women professional softball players in Latin America have a league of their own , another gain for women seeking more opportunities.
The Cost of Success: Buying a small-town club offers a tempting entry to ownership in English soccer. But the sport’s economics mean even multimillionaires can struggle to compete .
Gone Wild: Most defunct golf courses get paved over. But a number are getting transformed into ecological life rafts for wildlife, plants and people .
Discovered at a Pickup Game: Arthur Dukes Jr. had made three false starts at college before becoming the star player for LaGuardia Community College’s scrappy new team.
Bowing to a Fan Revolt: Germany’s soccer fans protested the specter of a private equity giant taking a stake in the country’s domestic league by raining tennis balls, chocolate coins and marbles onto fields across the country. The strategy worked .
- International edition
- Australia edition
- Europe edition
Scientists grow ‘mini-organs’ from cells shed by foetuses in womb
Creating organoids from cells found in amniotic fluid could bring insights into cause and progression of malformations
Researchers have grown mini-organs from cells shed by foetuses in the womb in a breakthrough that promises to shed light on human development throughout late pregnancy.
They created the 3D lumps of tissue know as organoids from lung, kidney and intestinal cells recovered from the amniotic fluid that bathes and protects the foetus in the uterus.
It is the first time such organoids have been made from untreated cells in the fluid and paves the way for unprecedented insights into the cause and progression of malformations, which affect 3-6% of babies globally.
Dr Mattia Gerli, a stem cell researcher at UCL, said foetal organoids, which are less than a millimetre wide, would allow scientists to study how foetuses develop in the womb “in both health and disease”, a feat that has so far not been possible.
Because the organoids can be created months before a baby is born, scientists believe they could drive more personalised interventions by helping doctors diagnose any defects and work out how best to treat them.
Organoids are tiny clumps of cells that mimic, to a greater or lesser extent, the features and functions of larger tissues and organs. Scientists use them to study how organs grow and age, how diseases progress, and whether drugs can reverse any damage that arises.
Most organoids are made from adult tissue, but researchers have recently made them from cells obtained from foetuses. The most ethically sensitive were created from tissue collected from terminated foetuses , while others have been made by reprogramming cells into a more embryo-like state.
Writing in Nature Medicine , Gerli and Prof Paolo de Coppi, a foetal surgeon at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, describe how they analysed amniotic fluid taken from 12 pregnant women as part of their routine diagnostic testing. Most of the cells in the amniotic fluid were dead, but a tiny fraction turned out to be stem cells for making the baby’s lungs, kidneys and intestines. The researchers found they could grow these into 3D organoids by injecting them into droplets of gel and culturing them.
To explore how the organoids might be used, the team created lung organoids from the cells of unborn babies with a condition called congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or CDH. Babies with CDH have a hole in the diaphragm, the dome-shaped muscle under the lungs that drives breathing. The hole allows organs in the abdomen to push up on lungs and hamper their growth.
Comparison of organoids from CDH babies before and after treatment showed substantial differences in their development, pointing to a clear benefit from the treatment. “This is the first time that we’ve been able to make a functional assessment of a child’s congenital condition before birth,” said De Coppi.
The same approach could investigate other congenital conditions such as cystic fibrosis, which causes mucus to build up in the lungs, and malformations in the kidneys and gut. Drugs that help alleviate congenital disorders could be tested on the organoids before giving them to the babies, De Coppi said.
Roger Sturmey, professor of reproductive medicine at the University of Hull, said the research paved the way for scientists to study how key organs formed and functioned in unborn babies without tissue donated to research after an abortion. “It may also reveal early origins of adult disease,” he said, “by highlighting what happens when the cells of key tissues within foetuses malfunction”.
- Medical research
Science Weekly Mistakes, fakes and a giant rat penis: why are so many science papers being retracted?
Decades of research destroyed after freezer fails at Swedish university
Viruses living in human gut could help regulate stress, study suggests
‘A lot of it is sloppiness’: the biologist who finds flaws in scientific papers
Scientists call for review of UK’s 14-day rule on embryo research
Gut microbes may play role in social anxiety disorder, say researchers
Blood test to determine organ age could help predict disease risk
UK medicines regulator approves gene therapy for two blood disorders