Football: London FA invests £70,000 into capital grassroots

PUBLISHED: 17:30 25 July 2018

Petts Wood players celebrate a goal (pic Tony Fowles)

Petts Wood players celebrate a goal (pic Tony Fowles)

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With more people playing football in London than ever before, the London Football Association is investing £70,000 into the development of grassroots football in the capital.

After the success of the London FA’s Growing Grassroots programme last year, applications have re-opened for the 2018/2019 season.

Clubs can now apply for two funding opportunities to assist them in developing new teams and ensuring existing teams in clubs are sustainable and futureproof.

Growing Grassroots offers £700 to any club setting up a new team, whilst Sustaining Grassroots offers £500 to any Charter Standard Club that needs funding support for their current teams. In total, around £70,000 will be distributed to support over 100 teams across the capital.

Setting up a new team or club can have its challenges; for many people there are financial barriers, with up front or ongoing costs needed throughout the season.

Growing football is part of the London FA’s mission, so to overcome these financial barriers, it’s introducing the Growing Grassroots Fund, aimed at helping new teams get off the ground with a cash injection to support activity in their first season.

To be eligible, the team applying must be brand new, affiliated to the London FA and must be, or commit to be, Charter Standard by December 31, 2018. Clubs can apply for up to £700 worth of funding new per team which, if successful, will be supplied in two parts – 50 per cent to be paid by September 14 and 50 per cent to be paid by January 31, 2019, if all requirements have been met.

There is only a limited amount of funding on offer to clubs as grants and as such, the London FA will prioritise investment that will have the biggest impact on football in the capital.

This will be based on teams most in need of financial support, teams that can demonstrate clear consideration has been given to being sustainable for future seasons and teams that are part of Charter Standard Clubs.

Running affiliated football teams is a big undertaking and sometimes financing a club for a new season can be difficult.

To ensure clubs can continue to operate, the London FA has introduced its Sustaining Grassroots Fund, aimed at supporting clubs that need a helping hand. The grant will provide a cash injection to clubs ahead of 2018/19, with the aim that over the season, the club will be able to develop a sustainable model for their finances, allowing the LFA to support different team’s year on year and keep clubs going.

To be eligible, teams must already be in existence, have been affiliated with the London FA in the 2017/18 season and must be Charter Standard. There are no restrictions on the types of clubs or organisations that can apply for this funding, but only clubs that can demonstrate that the funding will help them towards long-term sustainability will be considered.

Charter Standard Clubs can apply for up to £500 of funding, which will be supplied in one single payment by September 14.

There is only a limited amount of funding on offer to clubs as grants and as such, investment will be prioritised based on what will have the biggest impact on football in the capital. Priority will be given to clubs that can best demonstrate how this funding will be used to help them towards long-term sustainability.

Luke Thomson, Football Development Manager at the London FA, said: “Our grassroots funding offers a fantastic opportunity to provide competitive football for new players and will support existing teams to continue competing across the capital.”

For more information and how to apply, visit Applications close at midnight on Sunday August 12.

Petts Wood Football Club were awarded a significant grant during the 2017/2018 season to invest into coaching, equipment and kit, as well as expand the development of teams for young girls and women.

Secretary Meryl Clarke added: “Since receiving the funding we have been able to put four members of the women’s senior team through a Level 1 Coaching Course, which has not only given them an earning capacity but also encouraged them to explore their potential in football.

“These ladies have also been able to coach the younger girl’s teams and development groups – which currently holds 33 girls and steadily increases each week – enabling the women to act as positive role models and allowing for more girls to join the teams due to the increased number of coaches we now have.”

As well as increased investments in its women and girl’s teams, other areas of the club have also benefitted from the funding. Those coaching at the club currently with their Level 1 qualifications are now being put through Level 2 courses to further develop their skills.

Clarke said: “The more qualified coaches we have working with us, the more we can expand our teams and welcome new players into our club. We continue to see an increase in our teams’ confidence and ability.

“It’s not just about being active and playing a sport. For us, it is important to see these young people grow up learning about discipline, social skills and to experience a sense of purpose and commitment.”

For information about the London FA and the work its does to enrich the lives of those living in the capital through football, visit

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