There might be no such thing as a free lunch, but when someone is offering £24,000 it could be worth making the effort to lay the table and put out the mat saying 'Welcome'.
Over the last week or so a whole series of clubs have been trumpeting receiving the Football League Trust's Bronze Award for Community Work, and the £24,000 of additional grant monies that comes with it. The total of Championship clubs to meet the requirements for the award is now 21, with 19 League One clubs, 17 League Two clubs and one Non-league club (Mansfield Town) also having passed the assessment, which the Trust's regional representatives have been carrying out since 22nd September 2008. Seven clubs initially failed but, having taken on board and rectified the points on which they missed out, have now been passed after a second assessment: Doncaster Rovers, Coventry City, Northampton Town, Oldham Athletic, Peterborough United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Port Vale.
As, amidst this flurry of clubs rightly congratulating themselves, there has been no word from Yeovil Town we contacted the Football League to find out whether the club had been successful or not. The good news is we didn't fail; the bad news is that's because we haven't been scrutinised and assessed. Our understanding is that this assessment period runs out in December, which given Christmas probably means next week at the latest.
The sort of criteria the Trust is looking at before handing over the award (and the money) are things like: coach to child ratios; a suitable standard of coaching qualifications (minimum Level 2); a published business plan including Key Performance Indicators; the delivery to a suitable standard of at least one of the Trust's main themes of Health, Education, Social Inclusion/Community Cohesion, Sports Participation; the working partnerships that are in place with agencies external to the football club.
We trust (no pun intended) that the club has put its name forward for scrutiny and is simply waiting for an assessor to show up, and will soon be announcing the successful gaining of the Bronze Award and the arrival of £24,000 into the kitty for its community work.
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