Premier League clubs “feel aggrieved” at the lack of recognition for their community work, according to chief executive Richard Scudamore.
Scudamore was speaking at the launch of Premier League Primary Stars, a scheme to provide teaching resources to 10,000 primary schools by 2019.
“The clubs have been doing all this for over 20 years,” said Scudamore.
“They have huge involvement in their local communities, and yet the message never gets across.”
However, he said that top-flight clubs are not seeking “credit” by getting involved in the project.
He added: “Football has a power, it energises people, it motivates young people particularly and therefore because we can, we should.”
What is the scheme?
Premier League Primary Stars will provide free resources linked to the national curriculum to boys and girls aged five to 11.
After the initial reach, Scudamore says he hopes the scheme will extend to every primary school in England and Wales by 2022.
The initiative will supply free to download lesson plans, activities and video content in Maths, English, Physical Education (PE) and Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE).
Scudamore added that schools located close to professional football teams could also benefit from club coaches coming into schools to assist with PE lessons.
‘Football improves engagement in education’
The programme aims to use the appeal of Premier League clubs “to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills” – an impact Scudamore says the clubs already see in their involvement in community projects.
“We do an awful lot of this anyway – the clubs have been doing a lot of work in communities, a lot of our clubs are involved in schools, not just Premier League clubs but English Football League clubs too,” he said.
“Nobody out there really knows – clearly those actively involved know – but many parents will not be aware that these things are happening.
Despite a fall in viewing figures for live Premier League games, Scudamore says the organisation is “not seeing any diminishment” in the interest in football of primary school students.
“The take up is going to be enormous because the one thing we all know is if you can attach footballers to education then it does improve the engagement of young people,” he added.
“Hopefully some hearts and minds will alter in their perceptions towards what the Premier League stands for.”