FOOTBALL is under severe threat from global warming.
A quarter of professional football clubs in England and Wales face annual flooding of their stadiums this decade — and they could even be totally SUBMERGED by 2050.
Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge could be submerged by 2050[/caption]
The world is facing a climate crisis[/caption]
Sunday night’s explosive Sky Sports documentary on climate change details the dangers the beautiful game faces in the 21st Century.
In the programme, West Ham, Chelsea and Fulham are all warned their stadiums will not be able to cope with the increasing amount of rainfall forecast over the next few years.
And the FA admitted: “The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our time.
“At its current rate, climate change will have a wide-reaching impact on all of us.
READ MORE CHELSEA NEWS
“In football, we’re already seeing matches affected due to extreme weather — particularly in our grassroots communities.”
Leading climate change academic David Goldblatt has calculated that a quarter of the teams in the top four leagues will soon struggle to host matches regularly because of rising sea levels.
And over the next 28 years, he believes several Prem stadiums will be submerged as the impact of global warming changes the landscape of the country for ever.
Speaking on Football’s Toughest Opponent, Goldblatt said: “Extreme weather leads to extreme flooding.
Most read in Football
Iker Casillas claims he was hacked after tweeting ‘I’m gay’ to millions of fans
ON THE KASP
Schmeichel edging towards January Nice exit due to ‘poor attitude’ after move
England face Italy and Ukraine in horror Euro 2024 qualifying draw
Arsenal Invincible looks like a new man – and now sells fruit and veg
Wigan face FA rap after taking on Cardiff with one goal BIGGER than the other
Kane chokes back tears in emotional interview over death of Tottenham coach
HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON FOOTBALL
“This is the climate crisis. We’re not talking about a few puddles on the pitch, we’re talking about 1.5 metres of water — which means no football.
“In England, it’s really serious. My calculations are that around a quarter of professional stadiums in the top four leagues are under threat of annual flooding or actually being under water by 2050.”
Goldblatt quotes figures that were published in his Rapid Transition Alliance document that examined the future of global sport in a changing climate.
Sheffield Wednesday fans can certainly remember the 2007 floods when the Hillsborough pitch was submerged after the River Don burst its banks.
Carlisle’s Brunton Park was also battered by floods as Storm Desmond decimated Cumbria nearly seven years ago.
The documentary also claims one-third of “vulnerable” grassroots pitches in England are losing around six weeks every season through flooding and inadequate drainage.
Brunton Park has experienced heavy flooding[/caption]
Goldblatt said: “When we talk about coastal stadiums under threat, Southampton’s St Mary’s is really close to the water and really low.
“Grimsby’s Blundell Park and Scunthorpe’s Glanford Park are in quite a bit of trouble.
“And then inland, it’s more extreme rain, more extreme storms and systems that can’t cope with the volume of water coming into them.
“That will affect some really big clubs. West Ham at the Olympic Stadium, Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.
“Fulham’s Craven Cottage is really in trouble — they had their shop flooded earlier this year. There’s more of that to come.”
Liam Scully, chief executive of League One Lincoln, said: “Since I’ve been at the football club in the last 4½ years, we’ve had quite significant flooding on two occasions.
“You look at the revenue point of view and the cost of mitigation and the cost of putting things back together again.
“Football clubs are pillars of the community. Football clubs are far more than just a venue for Saturday games at 3pm. We also lose those non-matchday activities.”
It is not just heavy rain, of course.
Football teams will have to deal with rising temperatures — especially as the UK hit a record-breaking 40.3C in July.
And playing in bad air pollution will have a major effect on player performances.
As a person who does have a little bit of a profile, I will try to use that to help in some way
However, football clubs are fighting back and trying their hardest to save the planet.
There are various green initiatives in place and many players themselves are acutely aware they can make a difference.
Brentford defender Ben Mee, 33, says he has made efforts following his free transfer from Burnley in the summer to offset the carbon he produced by driving down the M6 and M1 motorways.
Mee said: “I donated to a charity that plants trees and do climate work within the environment.
“Ideally it would have been a completely carbon neutral transfer for us. But logistics and transfers happen quickly, it’s always difficult.
“I have looked into it over the past few years and become more aware about the environment.
“As a person who does have a little bit of a profile, I will try to use that to help in some way.”
Watch Football’s Toughest Opponent on Sunday at 7.30pm and 9pm on Sky Sports Premier League.