Gary Neville has become the Football Foundation’s latest signing by agreeing to become one of its ambassadors.
Just one week after joining Roy Hodgson's England coaching staff, the Sky Sports pundit has thrown his support behind the country’s biggest sports charity.
The Football Foundation funds the development of better community sports facilities across England with money provided by the Premier League, The FA and government and has overseen almost £1bn worth of projects since its launch in 2000.
The former England and Manchester United star believes the work of the Foundation is vital for the growth of the game at the grassroots and the development of the game at the elite level.
“I am delighted to be an ambassador for the Football Foundation," said Neville. "This country loves watching and playing football so we desperately need to address our lack of quality sports facilities.
“Developing more proper playing surfaces, such as floodlit artificial pitches, is also essential to developing more home-grown young talent.
“I have seen at first-hand the difference the Foundation’s grants make to improving grassroots sports sites. I’ve also been particularly impressed at the business-like way the Foundation operates. It does not just hand out grants and walk away; the Foundation develops sustainable facilities and ensures they all stay on track.
“It is also an example of The FA, the Premier League and government working very effectively together for the good of the game.
"They should each be proud of what they have created in the Foundation and deserve credit for the nearly £1bn worth of projects that the Foundation has helped to fund since it was launched in 2000.”
Since hanging up his boots last year, Neville has gained plaudits from across the football community for his astute punditry in his first season with Sky Sports.
New England manager Roy Hodgson admitted to being "very impressed" with Neville's tactical analysis and knowledge in the role and was "absolutely delighted" to have him on board for this summer's European Championships and beyond. Neville has signed a four-year contract as England coach.
By promoting the Football Foundation and its work at the grassroots of the game, Neville follows in the footsteps of other England internationals past and present, including Gareth Southgate, Theo Walcott, Peter Beardsley, Graeme Le Saux and former England manager Graham Taylor.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport since it was launched in 2000. This investment has been used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m.
Club Website is a proud partner of the Football Foundation. The UK’s largest sports charity has chosen Club Website to develop and power a new online fundraising platform for clubs and teams in England. Image courtesy of the Football Foundation.