Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is going back to his roots as ambassador for Budweiser Club Futures, a new programme launched by The FA and Budweiser.
The initiative sees £1m invested into grassroots football over the next two seasons and Alan is leading it by encouraging clubs to participate in addition to heading up the judging panel that decides the eight winners in the first season.
Pardew has the perfect credentials to be the face of Budweiser Club Futures. He began his playing career as a non-League part-timer at Whyteleafe and Epsom & Ewell, whilst working as a glazier.
He’s also had spells at Corinthian Casuals, Dulwich Hamlet and Yeovil Town before he signed for Crystal Palace as a 26-year-old. It was with Palace that he reached The FA Cup Final in 1990, losing out to Manchester United after a replay.
Pardew said: “Having started my career in non-League football I know just how important the grassroots level of the game is.
“These sorts of clubs are a great asset for the local community as much as the players.
“This is a massive opportunity for teams to help themselves move forwards and become more sustainable. It’s great to be part of such a valuable programme that’s investing in clubs at this level.
“I’m really hoping that as many clubs as possible apply over the next two seasons.”
The programme is giving 16 £50k grants to teams between steps five and seven of the National League System, split across two seasons. Within each season, one of eight chosen clubs win an additional £100k super grant, as voted by football fans from early next year through the official FA Cup and Budweiser UK Facebook pages.
Budweiser European Marketing Director, Iain Newell, said: “Alan Pardew knows the importance of non-League clubs to the future of the game and within local communities, so to have him on board with the programme is great.
“He’ll have a great impact in raising awareness of the programme, to help get clubs up and down the country involved and his background in grassroots football makes him the ideal ambassador to sit on the judging panel.”