The Premier League has launched the Return of Supporters Fund, which will enable eligible clubs in EFL League One and Two, the National League (Step 1) and the Women’s Super League to apply for funding for fan-engagement projects ahead of the 2021/22 season. The new initiative will award grants of up to £6,000 through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) to support activities and events designed to strengthen the relationship between clubs and their fans. The application window closes on Sunday 11 July 2021.
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: "The Return of Supporters Fund is another commitment from the Premier League to clubs throughout the football pyramid. These grants will enable clubs across the country to develop new ways of interacting with fans – both those returning to stadiums and others supporting from home – building upon the huge excitement for the new season."
The Return of Supporters Fund is the latest financial support the Premier League has provided for wider football through the FSIF during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Matchday Support Fund enabled more than 1,000 clubs from across the National League System, Women’s Football Pyramid and Welsh Premier League to access funding to put enhanced safety measures in place at grounds for fans. In total, over 2,500 Covid-19 relief grants worth £6.9million have been awarded to clubs through the FSIF since March 2020.
Last year, the Football Foundation – the charity of the Premier League, The FA and the Government – launched the Pitch and Club Preparation Funds to help clubs prepare their playing surfaces and other facilities for the resumption of football. This saw £8.7m provided to clubs at grassroots level as well as the non-league and women’s games.