Make sure your club is ready for the return
Football comes together to provide another boost for grassroots football
Following their recent £7 million investment towards preparing the country’s football pitches, the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, are making a further £2.19 million available through their Football Foundation to help clubs return to football.
The new Club Preparation Fund will help football clubs and community organisations to prepare their buildings to safely reopen in line with Government guidance around hygiene and social distancing. Grants of £500 are being made available through the Fund and more than 4,000 grassroots clubs and organisations across the country will be able to benefit.
Grassroots football clubs and organisations, FA National League System clubs, Welsh Cymru Premier League clubs, and clubs in The FA Women’s Pyramid that own their own facility or have at least 12 months’ security of tenure, are all eligible to apply for funding.
Club Preparation Fund grants will enable clubs to satisfy extra hygiene measures that Government guidance requires. This includes:
- The installation of hygiene facilities such as hand sanitiser dispensers, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers and waste bins
- Modifications such as safety screening, contactless payment systems and signage
- Facility maintenance work, such as repairing hand basins and hot water provision
- Professional inspections that may be necessary due to the prolonged period of closure resulting from the pandemic – including inspections of water quality, gas and ventilation.
The Club Preparation Fund follows the £7 million Pitch Preparation Fund, which is benefiting 9,588 pitches and is a continuation of football and Government’s support for clubs that have lost out on normal revenue streams during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FA recently released guidance to help providers of outdoor football facilities achieve the Government’s guidelines. Providers will need to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, then adapt their facilities via three key ‘controls’: promoting good hygiene; keeping facilities and equipment clean; and maintaining social distancing and avoiding congestion.
Mark Bullingham, The FA’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are committed to getting all levels of football playing as soon as the Government decides that it is safe to do so.
“This fund will be critical to helping clubs prepare facilities and carry out essential maintenance work. We want them to be ready to welcome players back, which hopefully will be very soon.”
The application window will be open between 29 June and 19 July 2020.