Club Website side among grassroots clubs hoping for Budweiser sponsorship boost.
Eight grassroots football clubs from across England are hoping to win a massive £100,000 boost to their club coffers.
The clubs – who include Hertfordside’s Evergreen FC – each won a £50,000 grant when they were selected for the Budweiser Club Futures programme in December.
The money has enabled the sides – all from Steps 5-7 of the football pyramid and each representing a different region – to improve their facilities. Each club had to submit a detailed business plan on how the grant would be spent to be considered for selection.
Evergreen FC – whose website is powered by Club Website – run around 30 teams covering all areas of the game from girls’ and boys’ mini-soccer to senior teams and disability football.
The £50,000 grant will enable the club to renovate all of their changing rooms, join them to their clubhouse and finish work on a seminar room.
Youth Secretary Ian Turner said the club now hopes for the further boost of the £100,000 ‘super grant’ – awarded to one lucky winner following a public vote – to bring their disability sides onto the same site as the rest of the club.
“We’d like to use the £100,000 to build an area for our two wheelchair teams to play football,” Turner told Club Website.
“At the moment they have to play in a school gym, but if we can build their own facility where we are at the moment, that would be brilliant.”
“The £50,000 grant has been superb. A lot of work was done in trying to get picked, but when we were selected we were well chuffed! Now we’re just going to hope for the best. It’s trying to get all our people to vote and anyone else who’s around the area to support us.”
Launched in August, the Budweiser Club Futures programme will invest £1m directly into grassroots football over this season and next as part of Budweiser’s FA Cup sponsorship.
The initiative aims to shine a light on grassroots football and help clubs to help themselves, making each side more sustainable within the community.
Blyth Town FC – whose girls’ teams’ website is powered by Club Website – has also been selected for the scheme and is on the shortlist for the £100,000 super grant.
Budweiser Club Futures ambassador and Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew, said: “Having started my career at grassroots level, I know just how hard it is to sustain a local club and can appreciate the importance of a programme like Budweiser Club Futures.
“The clubs have already received a significant amount of money at the £50,000 stage but this injection would be like a huge lottery win for one club.
“We had some great applications at the £50,000 stage and had hard decisions to make in choosing the eight winning clubs. This is why we thought it best to hand the £100,000 vote over to the football fans!”
The eight winning clubs are:
* AFC Blackpool – North West
* Blyth Town FC – North East & Yorkshire
* Evergreen FC – East
* Raynes Park Vale – London
* Bardon Hill FC – East Midlands
* Pegasus Juniors FC – West Midlands
* South Park FC – South East
* Camelford FC – South West
Best of luck to Evergreen FC and Blyth Town FC. To cast your vote visit the facebook.com/budweiseruk. Voting is open until 28 February 2013.