Flutter Entertainment unveiled a latest ‘Cash4Clubs’ initiative this morning, pledging £4.8 million to local sporting groups around the UK that are fighting to escape the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FTSE100 betting company has joined up with ‘Made by Sport,’ a charity that supports urban sports growth as an important community force in transforming social mobility, conditions, and people’s lives.
Critical time for sports
Flutter’s £4.8 million contribution has gone directly to Made the Sport’s ‘Clubs in Need’ funding fund, at a ‘critical time’ for sports clubs serving their local neighbourhoods – “with schools closed, financial relief dwindling, and the pressure on mental health services at an all-time high.”
The campaign will award £2021 in grants to the smallest groups that are playing the most critical part in bringing people back on their feet after the pandemic has ended and grassroots efforts can resume.
Financially troubled community clubs
Made by Sport will create the criterion for recognising the most financially troubled community clubs across the United Kingdom.
Justin King, Chairman of Made by Sport said: “With a quarter of all sports clubs in the UK facing permanent closure, community sport is facing a crisis.
“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.”
Flutter’s campaign contribution equaled the retail rates relief incentives the company got from March 2020 to March 2021, placing its 350 Paddy Power England betting shops on immediate lockdown, according to the company’s announcement.
Throughout the disaster, Flutter kept all retail workers on payroll and paying them in full, opting out of any furlough scheme support.
Highest ever contribution
The £4.8 million contribution is the highest ever received by Cash4Club – the charitable project Flutter has raised £800,000 for UK sports clubs directly since 2008, including £165,000 in grants allocated in 2020.
Flutter Entertainment plc’s Group CEO, Peter Jackson, said: “Lack of funding is not a new issue for community clubs which is why we originally set up our Cash4Clubs programme.”
“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.”