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Stuart Pearce hails Non-league boost as betting giant pumps in more cash

Exclusive: Entain, which owns Ladbrokes and Coral in the UK, has taken its contribution to non-league football to over £1million by ploughing in a fresh six-figure sum

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Stuart Pearce has welcomed news that non-league clubs in the Trident Leagues have been boosted by a new £150,000 investment from a leading betting and gaming operator.

Entain, which owns Ladbrokes and Coral in the UK, is pumping in a new six-figure amount to take its contribution to the Trident Leagues to over £1m.

It is a much-needed boost for the 245 clubs in the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues, who have been hit hard by Covid-19.

They will now be able to apply for grants to the Trident Community Foundation (TCF).

Entain became a founding partner of the TCF in December 2020 on top of their headline partnership through their ‘Pitching In’ programme.



Former England defender Stuart Pearce is delighted another £150,000 is going into non-league football
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Image:

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The vision is to create a strong, sustainable community programme that will help clubs develop young talent, promote non-league football to a wider audience and attract volunteers.

Ambassador Pearce, the ex-England international and former non-league player at Wealdstone, welcomed the announcement.

Pearce, 59, said: “The new ‘Pitching In’ investment couldn’t come at a more challenging time for the grassroots football community.

“Non-league football clubs faced unprecedented effects on their finances from the Covid-19 pandemic and many clubs continue to struggle to stay afloat.









“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 TCF 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.”

Nick Robinson, chairman of the Isthmian, Mark Harris, chairman of Northern Premier, and Anthony Hughes, chairman of Southern League, also praised the development.



Leicester’s former England ace Jamie Vardy came up through the non league scene




They said: “The latest phase of Entain’s investment 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.”

Entain , which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is one of the world’s largest sports-betting and gaming groups.

Among the clubs to benefit from the first round of grants last season were: Newcastle Town, Marine, Workington, Scarborough, Lincoln United, Pontefract Colliers, Clitheroe, Leek Town, Marske United and South Shields in the Northern Premier League.







Clubs in the Isthmian League to benefit were: Canvey Island, Carshalton Athletic, Hastings United, Merstham, Whitstable Town, Three Bridges , Tooting & Mitcham United , Enfield Town and Ramsgate.

In the Southern League clubs to benefit were: Barnstaple Town, Basingstoke Town , Coalville Town, Corby Town, Dorchester Town, Gosport Borough, Hendon, Merthyr Town, Metropolitan Police, Poole Town, Redditch United, St Ives, St Neots Town, Taunton Town , Weston-SuperMare, Winchester City.












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