Great news for football in Stevenage today, as Stevenage FC Women are celebrating receiving funding from the Premier League to help them prepare for the restart of football and safe return of supporters to their stadium.
The Matchday Support Fund grant will help Stevenage FC Women put in place measures that will make their ground safer for the 2020/21 season given the challenges caused by COVID-19.
- Providing a ticket system that allows for cashless payments at home games
- Signage to reinforce social distancing measures to ensure spectator saftey
- Enhanced sanitation stations are high contact points as well as increased cleaning
- Outdoor spectator refreshments in line with Government guidance
- Exploring the introduction of matchday commentary for those spectators that cannot attend
- Safety screens at key spectator service points
The Matchday Support Fund is managed by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), which is financed by the Premier League and supports non-league and Women’s Football Pyramid clubs with the cost of improvements to their grounds.
The Matchday Support Fund follows the recent Pitch and Club Preparation Funds, which saw £8.7m in grants awarded by the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation to prepare the country’s playing surfaces and facilities for the return of football.
Foundation Chief Executive and Women’s Chairman, Joe Goude said:
“We’re delighted to have received the news that we’ve received support from the Premier League and Football Foundation to scale up our restart plans for The County Ground and getting spectators back into the stadium to watch Stevenage FC Women. Based on the guidance, at present we can welcome up to 300 spectators back to Letchworth and support the Boro Women as they begin their FA Women’s National League campaign next Sunday at home against AFC Wimbledon.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Clubs and one that sees the Premier League providing further funding to help support Clubs within the National League System and the FA Women’s football pyramid. This funding will allow Clubs to prepare for the return of spectators and ensure their venues are COVID-19 compliant and provided additional resource to help prevent the spreading of the virus but also to encourage supporters to return to football.
Stevenage FC Women play their home fixtures at Hertfordshire FA and whilst we have implemented measures to assist in spectators returning, Stevenage FC Women will now be able to consider further opportunities such as cashless payments for tickets, improved signage, safety barriers and many other health and safety measures that can be implemented. This has been a very challenging time for many Clubs over the last six months with a significant loss of income, I know this funding will be welcomed by the Club and provide an opportunity for spectators to return to their fixtures and for the players to play in a safer environment.”