England skipper salutes club’s power play

ALEXANDRA Park Football Club has won a national competition to have a �40,000 energy makeover – and a visit from England skipper Rio Ferdinand to boot.

After 100 years in the community, the club was under pressure from spiralling costs such as electricity bills and on the verge of doubling its player fees.

But following the makeover, which more than 700 clubs applied for, it will save about 40 per cent on its energy bill and be able to reinvest the money into the club.

The improvements were carried out by FA Cup sponsors E.ON.

The clubhouse has been fitted with new loft insulation, light sensors, which only come on when needed and a new ultra-efficient hot water heater for the kitchen. New shower controls and radiators and two new pumps, which will cut the club’s energy bill by 10 per cent, have also been put in.

The revamped club was reopened by Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand.

He said: “Clubs like Alexandra Park who, like thousands across the country, are at the heart of local communities up and down the country, are struggling to make ends meet due to ever-increasing running costs.

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“But as you can see from the work carried out here today, even by introducing some simple measures, clubs can start to use their energy more wisely and save money.

“I started my career in similar surroundings south of the river. Hopefully, the work that’s been done by E.ON will ensure the club continues to grow and the costs saved will go into developing a star of the future.”

Some of the changes will even make the club money. Chairman Tony Bent expects to make up to �1,000 by selling more hot drinks from their new water heater.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Rio Ferdinand to Alexandra Park to unveil our new energy efficient clubhouse,” he said. “We are very proud of our club, its heritage and the role it plays within the local community. In recent years though, high running costs, like energy bills, have drained valuable funds which ordinarily would have been reinvested into the club to safeguard its future.

“That’s why I’m delighted that the changes E.ON has made ensure our club continues to go from strength to strength both on and off the pitch.”