15 March 2021
Entain Commits to Trident League Sponsorship Following Season Abandonment
Entain has today confirmed that its ‘Pitching In’ grass roots and non-elite sport investment fund has committed to funding the sponsorship of Trident Leagues (The Pitching In Isthmian, Pitching In Northern Premier and Pitching In Southern Leagues) in full despite the abandonment of the 2020-21 season.
This assurance comes following the decision of each of Trident Leagues to prematurely conclude their seasons due to the impact of Covid-19 which has prevented the staging of fixtures.
‘Pitching In’ (launched last September Entain, via the Group’s Entain Foundation), has underlined its commitment to supporting the future of the Trident Leagues by ensuring that the funds invested as part of the partnership will be utilised for the benefit of all clubs affected by the conclusion of the Trident Leagues 2020/21 season, expected to be ratified by the FA Council on 18th March.
Commenting on the continued support of the Pitching In initiative, Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain said:
“There was never any question that we would not honour in full our commitment to the Pitching In Trident Leagues. With grass roots sports facing huge pressures caused by the pandemic, we at Entain want to play our part, investing in community clubs to ensure not only they survive but thrive. This approach is fundamental to the ethos of our recently announced Sustainability Charter.”
The announcement is welcome news to the Trident Leagues and comes at a time when football clubs and sporting organisations across the nation are facing the unprecedented impact on their finances of the Covid-19 related restrictions.
Anthony Hughes, vice-chairman of the Pitching In Southern League, said today:
"The Southern Football League are delighted that League sponsors Pitching In has formally informed the league that they will be making the full league sponsorship payments despite the playing season being curtailed after less than a quarter of the league programme taking place.
“For us, as a league it demonstrates the commitment our sponsors have made to this level of the game.
“In practical terms it means that the league will be able to ease the burdens upon its member Clubs and in real terms supply equipment and clothing that clubs would otherwise have to purchase.
“We are also able to reimburse some of the usual fees incurred by Clubs in order to participate in this level of the game.
“We are extremely grateful for the support from Pitching In and look forward to our continuing relationship."
Pitching In Isthmian League chairman, Nick Robinson, said today:
“Clubs in the Pitching In Isthmian League are likely to see a waiving of the next round of affiliation fees, due in June, along with subsidised ground improvements to ensure stadiums are safe and welcoming places to attend from the summer.
“We hope to provide funding for pitch works or weed maintenance – having terraces and everything else sprayed so clubs can have a good pitch and good surrounds come August,”
“Our message is ‘let’s work on it and make sure spectators are confident coming back’.
“If we didn’t have this (sponsorship deal), clubs would be in a far worse position. We will make sure all 82 of our clubs benefit from this.”
Pitching In Northern Premier Pitching In Northern Premier League chairman Mark Harris said today:
“This is great news, especially at a time when our member clubs’ sponsor relationships have been put at risk by the pandemic.
“The continued support of Entain and Ladbrokes to the Pitching In sponsorship means that the league can plan for next season and look at how we can provide additional support to our clubs.“
Pitching In ambassador, and former England Captain, Stuart Pearce said today:
“Our brilliant non-league clubs, who are at the heart of their communities, need financial support now more than ever.
“It takes a lot of money to run a football club and make it thrive. Pitching In honouring this sponsorship will make a real difference.”
Confirmation of Pitching In’s sponsorship commitment follows the first allocation of Trident Community Foundation grants, which have been awarded to 27 clubs across Steps 3 and 4 – with more to come.
Pitching In is a founding partner of the Trident Community Foundation (TCF), having donated £150,000 to launch the TCF. The TCF’s aim is to support, develop and improve the delivery of community programmes at the football clubs and help fund small and medium-sized projects through a grant application process for the 228 football clubs in the leagues.
Further announcements on additional projects will be made in the coming weeks and months. For more details see: https://entaingroup.com/sustainability/pitching-in/
The Trident Community Foundation
- The Trident Community Foundation has been set up by the three Trident Leagues (the Southern, Isthmian and Northern Premier Leagues) and Pitching In (set up by ENTAIN to provide grassroots sport investment)
- The 228 football Clubs playing in the three Trident Leagues will be able to apply for grants of up to £5,000 to help fund a variety of different community-based projects.
- David Emery, editor of the Non-League paper, is to be the first Independent Chairman of the TCF Board. The TCF Board will include representatives of the three Trident leagues and two representatives of ENTAIN Group.
The Trident League Partnership (launched on 3rd September 2020)
- The Pitching In Investment Programme has become the Official partner of the Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian Leagues which make up the Trident leagues at levels seven and eight of the English football pyramid (steps 3 and 4 of the National League System) in a multi-year agreement
The Pitching In Isthmian League
- The Isthmian League was founded in 1905 and covers London, the East and South East of England with 82 Clubs across 4 divisions at Steps 3 and 4 of the FA National League System
- There are 22 clubs in the Isthmian Premiership and the champions of the 2018/2019 season were Dorking Wanderers
- Worthing were in first position when the 2019/20 season was terminated on 26 March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic; however, they were not officially recognised as champions
The Pitching In Northern Premier League
- The Northern Premier League was founded in 1968 and covers all Northern England and the northern/central areas of the Midlands.
- There are 61 clubs across the Premier Division (Division One North West and Division One South East which make up the Northern Premier League
- The Premier Division champions for the 2018/19 season were Farsley Celtic with South Shields top of the league when the 2019/20 season was terminated on 26th March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic
The Pitching In Southern League
- The Southern League was founded in 1894 and covers the Midlands and South of England and Wales
- There are 84 clubs which are divided into four divisions; Premier Division Central, Premier Division South, Division One Central and Division One South
- The Premier Division central champions for the 2018/19 season were Kettering Town with Weymouth champions of the Premier Division South. Peterborough Sports were top of the Central Premier and Truro City top of the South Premier when the 2019/20 season was terminated on 26th March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic
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About Entain plc
Entain plc (LSE: ENT) (Formerly GVC Holdings plc) is a FTSE100 company and is one of the world’s largest sports-betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector. The Group owns a comprehensive portfolio of established brands. Sports Brands include bet.pt, bwin, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes, Neds and Sportingbet; Gaming Brands include CasinoClub, Foxy Bingo, Gala, Gioco Digitale, partypoker and PartyCasino. The Group owns proprietary technology across all of its core product verticals and in addition to its B2C operations provides services to a number of third-party customers on a B2B basis. The Group’s unique technology platform also powers BetMGM, the joint-venture it operates with MGM Resorts to capitalise on the rapidly regulating US sports betting and iGaming market. Entain is tax resident in the UK with licenses in more than 20 countries, across five continents. The Group’s commitment to delivering sustainability and growth is recognised through its membership of the FTSE4Good and DJSI ESG indices, which identify companies that meet globally recognised corporate responsibility standards.
For more information see the Group’s website: www.entaingroup.com