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News Archive > Sport > Winter survival fund sparks criticism as Foxes miss out

Winter survival fund sparks criticism as Foxes miss out

By Gareth Davies 3rd February 2021

Winter survival fund sparks criticism as Foxes miss out
Foxhole Stars. pictured here against Newquay earlier this season, have missed out on a grant from football authorities due to the recreational standard they play at

Foxhole secretary Dave Bunt has labelled football authorities as ‘short-sighted’ after the recently announced Winter Survival Fund was restricted to applications from steps three to six in the National League System (NLS), writes Gareth Davies.

This will mean clubs in our area that play in the South West Peninsula League will be able to apply for part of a £10 million grant funding initiative from central Government and distributed via the Football Stadium Improvement Fund.

Foxhole, despite playing in the East Cornwall Premier League, have facilities that belie their recreational status. Bunt stated that when applying for business rate grants from local authority, playing standard was not a consideration, but he finds it hard to fathom why the FA would impose restrictions based on playing level. 

“Every ground could do with the money,” he told the Voice. “We are classed as grassroots football and because that is how the St Piran League downwards is viewed, we will miss out and that is a bit unfair.

“This winter grant thing seems to me like the FA think football at recreational level doesn’t even exist. If you take the example of a club like Biscovey, playing in the Duchy League at Park Track. For every home game it probably costs them £100 for the pitch hire, referee, kit wash and all that. Clubs like that have not the facility to charge spectators to try and generate revenue. Do clubs like this and ours not matter?

“Looking at this differently, because we have a social club, we have been able to access funding from the Government based on our business rates but not at any time did they ask who we were or what league we played in.

“I think the FA are being a bit short-sighted when grassroots football is giving players much more access to the game - although the ability of those playing is obviously limited.

“Despite all this, clubs like ours are giving amateur football a chance and we are not paying £70 or £80 a game.”

Bunt went on to give his views on how the current season could be concluded and unsurprisingly he feels that null and void is the only option – something that may just benefit Foxhole in the long-run. 

“The only realistic thing we could do is form some sort of cup competition because realistically, there are not enough Saturday’s left to finish league games,” he added. “Of course with the restrictions, a club like Foxhole could not afford to play football until we were in tier one. 

“Tier two is no good to us and we would be bankrupt without the social club. If anything, null and void could fall nicely for us on the pitch because we were struggling, there is no two ways about that. 

“We have gone from wondering where our first victory was going to come from, to starting a new season in a much more competitive league with a competitive team.”

By Gareth Davies 3rd February 2021

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