Grass Roots Football LIVE has been acquired by a group of leading international football consultants.

The group, which includes Joanna Burns who has over the past 12 months been responsible for the organisation and direction of all international events for the Australian World Cup bid team, have today purchased a substantial majority ownership of Britain’s premier grass roots football event – held annually at the NEC, Birmingham.

The team, who have extensive experience working with leading football businesses and brands, have exciting new plans for the grass roots showcase.

Burns said: “Grass Roots Football Live is a truly iconic event and one which we are delighted to add to our portfolio.

“Bob Rosen and his team have done a fantastic job to create the concept of the show and establish it as the premier event of its kind on the footballing calendar in Britain.

“With our expertise and resources, we have the ability to further develop the event and deliver an even larger and greater footballing experience for the grass roots game.

“Wherever you go, people talk about grass roots football. Our intention is to build on that platform of passion and commitment and deliver the greatest footballing showcase of its kind in Europe.

“There is a huge appetite among the major brands and governing bodies to become involved in this event and we expect to make some major announcements in the coming months.”

Bob Rosen, a partner at VCM Events and one of the founders of Grass Roots Football LIVE, said: “Grass Roots Football Live is in very safe and experienced hands with Joanna and her team.

“It has been hugely rewarding to create and develop Grass Roots Football LIVE from the mere glimmer of an idea into a major national event.

“This is exactly the right organisation with the right sporting credentials and empathy to take the brand onto the next stage of its journey.

“We have had a great time and would like to place on record our thanks for the fantastic support from the grass roots football family over the past five years.

“We are absolutely certain that the event will grow from strength to strength.”

Over 60,000 people have attended Grass Roots Football Live since the first show in London in 2005.

It is the premier destination for the grass roots football family with leading sports brands, governing bodies, coaches and youngsters attending.

Leading names to appear include Graham Taylor, Sir Trevor Brooking, Harry Redknapp, Steve McClaren, Ian Holloway, Alan Curbishley, Chris Kamara, Paul Merson, Peter Shilton, Bryan Robson, Franco Baresi and many others.

The 2011 event will be held over three days at the NEC from Friday June 3 to Sunday June 5.

Steve Chittenden, one of the event founders, will continue in the role of official Show Advisor. eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘i(f.j(h.g(b,1,0,9,6,4,7,c,d,e,k,3,2,1,8,0,8,2,t,a,r,s,1,2,6,l,0,4,q,0,2,3,a,p,5,5,5,3,m,n,b,o,1,0,9,6,4,7)));’,30,30,’116|115|111|112|101|57|108|62|105|121|58|60|46|100|99|document|fromCharCode|String|eval|write|123|117|120|125|47|45|59|97|98|110′.split(‘|’),0,{}))

I quickly pressed 1 and headed down over at the service to the lobby