UEFA’s Social Return on Investment (SROI) demonstrates that Ayr United Football Academy (AUFA) contribute nearly €10 million to their local community.

The Ayr United Football Academy was selected to participate in a UEFA pilot project to place a monetary value on the Academy’s football programmes across a spectrum of social, health and economic outcomes, following successful Social Return on Investment reports on Spartans and the Scottish FA.

AUFA’s local report, with a foreword by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman gives a detailed breakdown of the benefits of the Academy as well as describing some of the positive life experiences which sit behind the numbers. The report will be of great benefit to the club in terms of stakeholder engagement and proving how influential the AUFA is to their local community in South Ayrshire and beyond.

This report demonstrates the impact that clubs have both on and off the pitch. Clubs like AUFA have become more influential than ever during this critical time facing the challenges of COVID-19, using the power of football to assist individuals and groups.

Some of the key areas surrounding Ayr United’s impact on their local community on an annual basis, highlighted in the report, include:

  • €4.8m in subjective wellbeing
  • More than €500,000 in improved mental health
  • €275,000 in tackling dementia
  • €334,000 in reducing cardio vascular disease
  • €278,000 in tackling diabetes
  • €250,000 in combatting absence from school
  • €350,000 in educational attainment
  • Almost €900,000 euros value from volunteering

Scottish FA President Rod Petrie: “We have known for many years that football’s impact stretches beyond the pitch and with our partners UEFA, Scottish Government and sportscotland we are now one of Europe’s first national associations to be able to articulate the impact of football at national, regional and now local level.

“This report demonstrates the incredible reach that Ayr United Football Academy has on many parts of Scottish society in South Ayrshire and puts a tangible figure on the fantastic work that the club carries out within their local community.”

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman OBE MSP: “This report is an important piece of work and the culmination of a unique partnership between the Scottish Government, sportscotland, the Scottish FA and UEFA over many months to produce robust evidence of football’s contribution to our communities and society. Ayr United Football Academy is a forward-thinking organisation delivering sport – through football – to the local community and encouraging participation in sport amongst people of all ages and abilities.

“This report demonstrates that the many programmes delivered by the club are helping people stay active, improve their physical and mental health, and addressing a number of societal issues ranging from loneliness and isolation to mental health and dementia.”

UEFA Head of National Association Business Development Noel Mooney: “The UEFA GROW SROI model allows our National Associations to work with both national and local government and other stakeholders to showcase football’s contribution in making a healthier, happier society and help to make our communities stronger.

“We’re delighted to work with the Scottish FA to help grow participation and improve access to football across the country.

“The SROI model now allows us to demonstrate a monetary value of our clubs and the results showcase just how impactful clubs like Ayr United Football Academy are on the football pitch and beyond.”

Chair of the Ayr United Football Academy Allan Gunning: “Since AUFA was formed in 2005 we have worked with our partners and volunteers to do all we can to make a positive contribution to our local communities. The research confirms that, together, for every £1 invested into AUFA programmes we deliver a £17 return. The report demonstrates how this return helps to reduce the risk of our population facing a range of social, health and economic problems.

“The financial values contained in the model complement the qualitative evidence of the benefits we have from various case studies involving participants in our programmes. This overwhelming evidence base provides a clear and compelling reason for increasing participation in our programmes. We are already in positive discussions about how we can deliver a 40% cumulative increase in Academy participants over the next five years.”

To download the full report, click here