The UK government spent £13.1 billion on culture, religion and recreation in 2008-9. This includes public funding for organisations like the Football Licensing Authority. It is not right that a sport that pays tens of millions of pounds in transfer fees and tens of thousands of pounds per week to individual players should be subsidised by taxpayers, most of whom will not earn in a lifetime what a footballer earns in a year.

If we cut funding to sport, our national teams and sportsmen may deliver less impressive results. But is that important compared to the financial hardship already experienced by millions and about to be expanded to many others by our dire fiscal situation?

We have identified the department of Culture, Media and Sport as one of the departments with a lot of "nice to have" spending that must be cut back radically until we are spending only on the "must haves". Sportsmen and club owners should earn their money according to the demand to watch their skills. There is nothing wrong with amateur sport - indeed, in terms of the wider benefit, many people playing amateur sport is much more important than a few elite sportsmen performing at the highest level. If a sport cannot raise enough money in advertising, sponsorship, TV and ticket sales, it should operate as an amateur sport within the budgets that it can afford, without subsidy.