Launched in December 2020, the TCF is run in collaboration between Entain and the Trident Leagues – the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues – to help fund community projects run by 245 clubs playing across the leagues.
Clubs can apply for funding via a grant application process and the TCF paid out grants to 27 clubs during the 2020-21 season to fund projects covering coaching in the community, the expansion of girls’ football and the health and wellbeing of youngsters.
Entain is active in the scheme via the Entain Foundation’s Pitching In programme, which also launched last year as a multi-million-pound grassroots and non-elite sport investment fund to support clubs with financial pressure after the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The additional £150,000 in funding will be added to Entain’s headline partnership with the Trident Leagues and brings its total contribution to the competitions to over £1m.
Stuart Pearce, former captain of the England men’s football team and an ambassador of the Pitching In project, welcomed the new funding at what he described as a “challenging time” for grassroots football.
“Non-league football clubs faced unprecedented effects on their finances from the Covid-19 pandemic and many clubs continue to struggle to stay afloat,” Pearce said. “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.”
In a joint statement, Isthmian chairman Nick Robinson, Northern Premier chairman Mark Harris and Southern League vice chairman Anthony Hughes added: “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.”