Football club receives vital pitch fund and are still in it to win it

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:41 08 June 2020

Wisbech St Mary FC were awarded a grant to help prepare their pitch at the ABC Stadium for when they return to action. Picture: IAN CARTER

Wisbech St Mary FC were awarded a grant to help prepare their pitch at the ABC Stadium for when they return to action. Picture: IAN CARTER

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A Fenland football club has been awarded thousands of pounds to help prepare their pitches for when they return to action.

Wisbech St Mary FC was awarded a £5,000 pitch preparation fund grant from the Premier League, The FA and the Government’s Football Foundation, which provides grants to clubs that have lost out on usual revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The funding will enable Saints, who play in the Thurlow Nunn League as well as the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Youth Leagues, to prepare their football pitches so that they are match-fit for when it is safe to play football again.

Work such as verti-draining, rolling, weed-killing and routine preparatory work like grass cutting can be paid for by the grant, as well as the cost of materials.

Paul Albutt, secretary of Wisbech St Mary FC, said: “Obtaining this grant will ensure we can maintain our pitches to our usual high-quality standard.”

Clubs and other organisations are also being given access to the Football Foundation Groundskeeping Community, a free online resource the Foundation developed with The FA and the Grounds Management Association.

Robert Sullivan, Interim Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This is a vital grant to help Wisbech St Mary FC get their pitches match fit.

“The Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation exists to help provide quality infrastructure at the lower levels of the game.”

Mr Sullivan added: “Pitch preparation fund grants like this one are giving a helping hand to clubs across the country to get their playing surfaces ready for when the game is allowed to begin again following government advice.”

Saints launched their bid to win more funding as part of the Calor Rural Community Fund yesterday (June 4).

The fund applies to clubs and other community organisations that are not on the mains gas grid, where ideas must meet a certain criteria, such as making a positive difference to their rural community.

Grants to be won range from £1,000 to £5,000, where each project earns points depending on how many ‘likes’ they get and 10 points for every time someone donates.

Mr Albutt said: “We would love people to pledge, but we know the financial situation at the minute, so just liking the page will do us the world of good.”

To donate, go to https://bit.ly/2U9QLjU or for more information, visit https://communityfund.calor.co.uk/about-us.

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