With The Football Foundation

The Premier League, The FA and government’s Football Foundation has announced that John Ledwidge, head of sports turf and grounds at Leicester City Football Club (pictured above), and Karl Standley, Wembley Stadium grounds manager, have joined the team as Official Fans.

John and Karl are joining the UK’s biggest sport’s charity to support its mission to revolutionise the quality of grass pitches across the country, helping the Foundation to deliver 20,000 'good' quality grass pitches in the next 10 years. 
To help make this ambition a reality, the Football Foundation has developed ‘PitchPower’; a web app that gives every community football club and organisation in the country the ability to carry out their own grass pitch inspections and open up funding opportunities and free resources to help improve their grass pitch.  

John Ledwidge said. "I am delighted to be part of the Football Foundation team. I’ve worked in the grounds industry since I was 13 when I asked my local club Coventry City for work experience. I’ve learnt all sorts about how to get the best from a grass pitch and I look forward to sharing the knowledge I’ve gathered to help people across the country who are responsible for maintaining grass pitches.

“It’s clear how vital having a good pitch is to ensure people can get out and play football at their local club or facility. Better pitches mean more opportunities to play and get active which is hugely important to the nation’s physical and mental wellbeing.” 

Karl Standley added, “PitchPower is such a great tool. It’s a really simple way to submit inspections for a pitch and start the process of improving the quality of your grass - something that impacts football teams across the country, whether it’s an international stadium or a grassroots team playing down the local park.  

Karl Standley sml

Karl Standley

“I’m really excited to be working with the Football Foundation on their mission to revolutionise the quality of grass football pitches across England.” 

Football Foundation CEO Robert Sullivan said, “We are thrilled to welcome John and Karl to the Football Foundation team. Around 87% of affiliated football is played on grass pitches, yet the quality of grass football pitches is a huge issue for community football in England with over 150,000 matches being called off in the last full season due to unplayable pitches. 

“With John and Karl on board, and the expertise they each bring, more clubs and organisations will be encouraged to improve the quality of their grass pitches and thanks to PitchPower, they will have the tools they need to do so. Fewer matches will be postponed meaning more people can get active and experience the wide-ranging benefits that come with playing sport, whether that be improved physical and mental health, community cohesion and boosting the local economy too.” 

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