The Premier League have today announced that four football clubs across Bedford have received funding from the Premier League Matchday Support Fund in order to “Covid-proof” stadia across the borough.
The support fund, launched at the beginning of September, aims to “help make grounds safer given the additional risks posed by Covid-19”, allowing clubs to re-admit fans and boost much-needed revenue.
Bedford Town and Kempston Rovers, both of whom play in the Southern League, are the main beneficiaries of the funding, both receiving £7,000.
Bedford FC, who have four wins from four in the Spartans South Midlands League, will receive £2,000 with Bedford Ladies FC receiving £1,000.
The Matchday Support Fund is being delivered by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) – the grant-giving body that provides Premier League funding to support ground improvements for clubs in the professional, women’s and non-league games.
MP for Bedford and Kempston, Mohammad Yasin, welcomed the news, “Local sport clubs are the backbone of our community and need all the help they can get to help them survive the pandemic.”
“I am pleased that the Premier League has awarded funds to help non-league clubs in Bedford and Kempston to help them get through the crisis.”
“I’m sure it will offer some relief to the managers, players and supporters who give up their energy and time week in, week out to run these great local teams.”
Clubs in the 8th tier of football have already started re-admitting fans, with 334 people in attendance at Bedford Town’s 1-1 draw with Barton Rovers at the weekend and 80 fans at Kempston Rovers’ victory over Wantage Town.
This additional funding will go some way in helping clubs manage the resurgence of local fans, who have been desperate to see live action resume.
And with most clubs in the Southern League playing two games per week, the financial help to make the stadiums safer will go a long way in bringing some normality to football fans across the town.