Entain has detailed a reinforcement of its support of non-league football by committing a further £150,000 to the Trident Community Foundation for community projects run by clubs in the three Trident Leagues, namely The Pitching In Isthmian, Pitching In Northern Premier and Pitching In Southern Leagues.
This additional funding of the TCF is on top of the betting and gaming group’s headline partnership with the Trident Leagues through the Entain Foundation’s Pitching In programme, and brings its total contribution to the leagues to over £1m.
Stuart Pearce, Pitching In ambassador, explained: “The new “Pitching In” investment couldn’t come at a more challenging time for the grassroots football community.
“Non-league football clubs faced unprecedented effects on their finances from the COVID-19 pandemic and many clubs continue to struggle to stay afloat. Entain committing to further funding of non-league teams will make a big difference to hundreds of clubs, thousands of players and hundreds of thousands of fans across the country.
“The Trident Community Foundation demonstrates the true meaning of Pitching In and strengthens existing bonds within communities across the country. I look forward to seeing non-league clubs thrive so that the future generation of football fans can experience and enjoy the game at grassroots level.”
Entain became a founding partner of the TCF in December 2020, making an initial £150,000 donation, with a view to creating a strong sustainable community programme that will help clubs develop young talent, promote non-league football to a wider audience and attract volunteers.
In the 2020-21 season, the TCF made grants to 27 clubs to run projects including coaching in the community, the expansion of girls’ football, health and wellbeing for 5–16-year-olds, and the development of community football infrastructure.
The TCF fund operates via a grant application process for 245 football clubs, with its guiding objective of supporting, developing and improving the delivery of community programmes at the football clubs, and helping fund small and medium-sized projects.
In a joint statement, the three leagues, Nick Robinson, chair of the Isthmian; Mark Harris, chair of the Northern Premier; and Anthony Hughes, vice chair of the Southern League, added: “The Trident Leagues are delighted with today’s announcement of the next round of funding from the Trident Community Foundation.
“This latest phase of Entain’s Pitching In grassroots and non-elite sports investment programme is critical for the future of non-league football. Our clubs are at the heart of their local communities and this funding will provide them with the means to strengthen those links.”