Clubs in Jersey are being encouraged to apply for grants from the Football Foundation's new ‘Pitch Preparation Fund’ in support of the game, which is currently facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The fund provides almost £10 million of financial support across the country (and islands) to those struggling to maintain their football pitches, and clubs in Jersey could be eligible for thousands of pounds each for projects such as weed-killing, aeration, line-marking, turfing and more.
The fund is a direct response to a need across the game, providing grants to clubs that have lost out on normal revenue streams during this difficult period and helping them to prepare their pitches after challenging winter weather conditions.
The move will help to get clubs in a position to start playing football again when it is safe to do so, following government advice.
A total of £9.56 million has been allocated to the fund, which is open to football clubs and voluntary organisations that maintain their own natural grass pitches and have at least 12 months’ security of tenure. Clubs with suitable tenure for a 3G artificial grass pitch are also eligible to apply.
Grassroots football clubs and organisations, FA National League System Clubs from Step 1-6, Welsh Cymru Premier League clubs and clubs in The FA Women’s Pyramid (Tier 1-5) that maintain their own natural grass and third generation (3G) artificial grass pitches, are among those eligible to apply for funding.
Robert Sullivan, Football Foundation Interim Chief Executive, said: “This fund reflects the determination of the Premier League, The FA and government to work together to make funding available to help get pitches match-ready for when restrictions are lifted.
“The Football Foundation will work with eligible clubs and community organisations across the country to ensure they get what they need. We are here to help, so please apply via footballfoundation.org.uk before the deadline of 25 May.”
The funding will help eligible clubs with essential maintenance works which could include vertical decompaction, slitting, over seeding, fertilising and weed-killing, as well as routine preparatory works such as grass cutting and the setting out and line marking of pitches. For artificial surfaces, eligible works could include deep cleaning, overmarking and FA pitch testing.
Jersey FA Pitch Advisor, Steve Landick, added: "Most of the football pitches in the island are on sandy loam soils which should drain freely. Surface compaction is the main problem with pitches in Jersey. Clubs do not carry out an aeration programme in season which would help drainage and keep pitches playable.
"End-of-season renovation is a crucial time of the year to invest in local playing surfaces and training areas, so they can recover over the summer months. Clubs should also be looking to treat the weeds during the summer as a fully grass pitch will wear much better once the season starts than one with a high percent of weed. Each club pitch would require different operations and task priorities to get best value but these operations are all covered in the grant application."
The application window will be open between Thursday 7 May and 9pm on Monday 25 May 2020.
APPLY FOR PITCH PREPARATION FUND
Please visit the Football Foundation for further details on the fund and how to apply or contact:
T: +44 345 345 4555
Jersey FA Pitch Advisor Steve Landick
T: 07797 737020