The squads of all 20 Barclays Premier League clubs are to create a new £500,000 fund that will provide U16 clubs, schools and youth organisations in England and Wales with free football kit and equipment. The Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme will particularly benefit those who come from areas in most need of assistance.
The idea originated at a meeting between the Premier League, delegates from the Professional Footballers’ Association and Captains from all Premier League clubs. Following the meeting the players committed to ‘adopt’ a scheme that will deliver these valuable resources.
The players recognised the need to promote and help young people’s participation in football and all 2011/12 Premier League squad players will be involved as each squad is to donate £25,000.
The Premier League Charitable Fund and the PFA will manage and administer the running of the scheme, but all of the players’ £500,000 donation will fund the kit and equipment.
Chelsea captain John Terry said: “As someone who benefited from grassroots football I know how important it is to have the right kit and equipment. Not all kids can have access to that, especially those from deprived areas, but hopefully the Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme can help.
“It’s fantastic that all the players in the League are clubbing together for this. Hopefully a little of that Premier League magic will rub off on those pulling on the shirts and we’ll see a few of them pulling on a real Premier League jersey in the not-too-distant future, but the biggest thing is having the opportunity to get out and have fun playing football.”
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore added: “The PFA and the Premier League players are to be congratulated for developing this important scheme as a League-wide initiative. Our players are the guys who put on the show all the way through the season but they are also very aware of the role their clubs play at the heart of their communities to positively change lives for the better. The Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme will undoubtedly help where it counts.”
PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor said: “Our members do much more than entertain fans on the pitch and I’m proud of the fact that players donate so much to charitable causes. This is a new initiative for our players to be involved in but it is one I hope will encourage more tens of thousands of young people to participate and enjoy football.”
HOW WILL THE KIT SCHEME WORK?
The Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme will provide successful groups with a free Nike team strip. Applications will be welcome from any club, school or youth organisation.
There is a limited number of team strips available to award, therefore this will be a competitive application process and bodies applying for the kit will only be eligible to receive one team strip, irrespective of the number of teams they operate.
Team strips will only be awarded to those who fulfil all of the criteria and priority will be given to those that come from areas that are deemed to be in most need of assistance.
To be eligible for funding, groups must also:
- Be within the qualifying age group: Under 7 to Under 16
- Have a minimum of ten registered members
- Be affiliated to an English league
- Have a Safeguarding Children policy
- Hold appropriate Public Liability Insurance.