MP COLUMN: Help available for smaller football clubs
One of the worst things about the last few months has been the absence of the beautiful game from our stadiums, TVs, and parks.
I’m overjoyed that we can now see football on the box but it’s not the same without crowds and canned cheering just doesn’t cut it.
But it’s the best we can expect for now given the very real dangers of the virus.
It will take time before we can be free and easy about coming together in confined spaces because we are living alongside the virus until a vaccine is developed.
The big football teams can better afford the changes to allow people to attend matches in real life but smaller football clubs also bring us together, bring joy to many people’s lives, and boost fitness.
Such small clubs and organisations will find it tougher to fund measures to keep their clubhouses and equipment clean, keep social distancing, avoid congestion, and promote good hygiene.
Fortunately, the Football Foundation has announced a Club Preparation Fund. It consists of £2.19million to help football clubs and organisations with grants of £500.
The Foundation says that the grant could, for instance, pay for hand sanitiser dispensers, signage and floor marking, building repairs and modifications, repairing hand basins and providing hot water, safety screening, and contactless payment systems.
My message is to get stuck in and score a grant. We need to see you open and safe.
Applications close on July 19, and details are at https://footballfoundation.org.uk/grant/club-preparation-fund
Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP