Made by Sport will manage the distribution of funds to clubs struggling with the financial impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The £4.8m donation being made by Flutter is the amount it benefitted from as a result of business rates relief, which was put in place from March 2020 to March 2021 for its shops in England.
Flutter’s Cash4Clubs initiative launched in 2008 and has given almost £800,000 to clubs over the past 12 years, including £165,000 in grants in 2020.
“Lack of funding is not a new issue for community clubs which is why we originally set up our Cash4Clubs programme,” Flutter group chief executive Peter Jackson said.
“But now help is needed more than ever and working with Made by Sport to provide a fund for ‘Clubs In Crisis’ is a great way for us to pass the benefit of business rates relief straight into the communities where that funding is most needed.”
Made by Sport chairman Justin King added: “With a quarter of all sports clubs in the UK facing permanent closure, community sport is facing a crisis. As we look to the future and rebuilding our communities, the role of grassroots sports in helping to tackle some of the key social issues exacerbated by the pandemic will be ever more important.
“This fund will reach some of the smallest and hardest hit clubs, and for many this will be the difference between permanent closure and the chance to continue the great work they do to address the social inequalities that exist in our communities.”
Last week, the Betting and Gaming Council appealed to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend business rates relief for a further year, saying this would support betting shops and casinos that have been forced to close for much of the pandemic.
Introduced in March last year, this relief meant retail, leisure and hospitality businesses were exempt from paying business rates for 12 months. This initially did not apply to gambling business, but was eventually extended to the industry.