Entain begins giving out donations for clubs through ‘Pitching In’
Entain Plc teamed up with The Isthmian, Southern League and Northern Premier, who are the Trident Leagues, for the ‘Pitching In’ programme. It has now revealed the first few clubs who have acquired contributions for COVID.
This specific programme was decided upon in December of 2020, and the company instituted a brand new ‘Trident Community Fund’ aiming to help out with the development and improvement of UK grassroots football in the long run.
The FTSE100 betting group inaugurated a Community Fund board in collaboration with the Trident Leagues, and David Emery, chief editor of the Non-League Paper, was put in charge of it. The board was responsible of issuing the company’s handouts to smaller football clubs in an attempt to help the communities get through tough times.
Earlier today, the TCF Board announced the names of 27 small clubs in Wales and England who had been given contributions of about £4,000, which will be aiding them in the recommencement of activities for their local communities who have not been able to play football all throughout last year. The Southern League received a large chunk of the donations, as it had 16 clubs who acquired them.
Anthony Hughes, vice-chairman of the Southern League, commented on the fund and said:
“It has been phenomenal. We ended up receiving 37 applications and we were overwhelmed by the response. The difficult part was allocating the funds as all the projects were worthy. We have tried to reward a variety of applications that are creative and innovative, covering as many different facets of the community as possible. It has been such a difficult time over the last year and everyone is looking forward to being able to get people back together. This gives us the first impetus to start looking ahead to when things open up again.”
In the meantime, the board awarded six of the Northern Premier’s clubs with donations, which are Workington, Newcastle Town, Scarborough FC, Marine FC, Lincoln United and Pontefract Collieries.
Chairman Mark Harris of the Northern Premier League said of the allocations:
“The Trident Community Foundation is a great way to help clubs do that as we try to start returning to some degree of normality. We have to collectively remind our local communities of the important role non-league football plays, and what better way to do that than through community-facing activities.”
The Isthmian League has also seen some support from this fund, as Whitstable Town, Hastings United FC, Canvey Island FC, Merstham FC and Carshalton Athletic FC all received some help as well.
Chairman of the Isthmian League, Nick Robinson, mentioned:
“This is the time to be giving good news. It is the honey to go with the bitter pill. One of our fears is that spectators have got out of the habit being involved with local clubs, so we want to be able to breathe life into this – it’s not just football, it’s football with a real community effort. The principles behind the various projects are brilliant and it’s vital to engage youngsters, in particular, to get the names of the clubs and leagues into their psyche.”
Entain Plc has allocated £150,000 in 2021 to provide to grassroots football across the UK, in order to give the smaller clubs the support that they need to get through these trying times. There will be another wave of Pitching In donations, which other clubs in the country can still sign up for.
Simon Clare, PR Director at Ladbrokes, concluded by saying:
“When we launched our Pitching In sponsorship of the Trident Leagues, our ambition was for Entain and our Ladbrokes brand to make a real difference to grassroots and non-elite sport, and we are thrilled to be a founding partner of the Trident Community Fund. This is only the start, and yet already we are inspired and enthused by the variety and nature of the projects that have been proposed by the Trident League clubs. We can’t wait to see these projects land in, and make a difference, to communities across England and Wales in the months ahead, at a time when they are needed most.”