Harlow Council has given Harlow and District Football League a reduction in pitch hire fees for last season in support of local grassroots football affected by the pandemic.
The league hires pitches from the council and a 70% reduction for the disrupted 2020 to 2021 season has been made to reflect the actual number of matches played and the resulting reduced income received by the league. One club, which hires pitches direct from the council, has also received a reduction. The value of both reductions is around £7,700 to be covered by the council’s COVID funds, setup to support the town in its recovery from the pandemic.
Councillor Russell Perrin, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Governance, said: “The pandemic and various lockdowns disrupted grassroots football in Harlow so it is only fair that we support the local league by giving a reduction on last season’s pitch fees. Off the back Euro 2020 and the country coming out of lockdown we want to see grassroots football in our town flourish as football comes home in Harlow.
“This reduction will help take some of the financial pressures off the league and local teams as they prepare for the new season ahead. A vibrant grassroots football scene is only possible through the hard work and commitment of the many volunteers from the league and local clubs so any financial support we can give will make a difference.”
Alvyn Charles, Chair of Harlow and District Football League, said: “I can only but thank the Council in their understanding and realising how important grassroots football within the town has been affected and their willingness to offer a discount through these difficult times. All involved within the HDFL and its Member Clubs appreciate this gesture and hopefully this new season can be completed.”