• Ryan Sheehan

Cityzens celebrate funding success for football’s big return

Earlier this week Reading City Football Club received a welcomed boost as we were awarded a £750 grant by the Premier League, The FA and the Government’s Football Foundation to support us in the return of football.

The £750 grant, part of the Foundation’s Return to Football Fund is a welcome boost as we resume our football activities following the lifting of government restrictions on grassroots football.

The grant was made possible thanks to funding from The FA and Sport England through the Football Foundation.

This money will be used to cover the cost of having to constantly adapt to COVID-19 rules across our 23 youth teams and 3 senior teams ensuring Covid compliance.

Club Treasurer and Facilities Manager Victoria Pyke said:

“This grant is a very welcomed boost as everyone returns to football and will help us ensure we're Covid-19 compliant giving our managers, coaches and players a safe environment to enjoy football, we thank the Football Foundation for their continued support towards Reading City Football Club".

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

“This grant award to Reading City Football club towards ensuring Covid compliance is vital for the local community in Reading as they get back to playing football. Our Return to Football fund is supporting clubs across the country, helping them to kick-start our national game again locally and try to recover from the effects of COVID-19. ”
“This is part of our wider ambition to transform our grassroots game and unlock the power of pitches, something we hope to get back to in full force as restrictions are lifted.”

The £2.1M Return to Football Fund is directly targeted at groups of people whose participation has been affected most by COVID-19, offering Clubs up to £2,500 each.

The grant comes as part of an investment of more than £16m that has been made available to help clubs prepare for the restart of grassroots football following the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the Foundation declared “Game on” and announced three funds to get football’s 12 million grassroots players back on the pitch.

The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports charity and exists to improve the experience of playing football for everyone, by championing fair access to quality facilities.

Notes to editors

About the Return to Football Fund

Delivered by the Football Foundation, in partnership with the FA and made possible with Sport England funding from the National Lottery, this £2.1m fund is targeted to support clubs in the highest areas of deprivation in England, disability football and groups underrepresented in football, including women and girls, to support the return to football or activities aimed at bringing new players to the game.

About the Football Foundation

The Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK. It champions and supports fair access to quality football facilities for everyone, regardless of gender, race, disability or place.

The Foundation receives money from the Premier League, The FA and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, through Sport England. This is matched with partnership funding and awarded as grants to create outstanding grassroots facilities that enable better games and attract more players, helping to transform communities.

Since 2000, it has awarded more than 17,600 grants to improve facilities worth more than £710m – including 942 artificial grass pitches, 6,426 natural grass pitches and 1,200 changing facilities. This has attracted an additional £940m of partnership funding – totalling over £1.6bn investment in grassroots football so far.

Through the Foundation, the Premier League, The FA, DCMS and Sport England have come together to create the National Football Facilities Strategy (NFFS) that will guide work over the next 10 years to transform many more local facilities. Local Football Facility Plans (LFFP) are being created to identify priority projects where demand is greatest, and the impact will be strongest and help stimulate the action required to deliver them.

Visit footballfoundation.org.uk for more information on the Foundation.

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