The PFA has always maintained that professional football clubs have a responsibility to support their local communities. We also believe the nation's love for football presents a unique opportunity for the sport to positively influence society. As the players' union, we're proud to lead by example and are committed to supporting the work of club community foundations across all the professional leagues.
As part of this commitment, we've been working in partnership with Sports Direct to distribute free sports equipment to every Club Community Organisations (CCO) in the English Football League (EFL) since 2019. The three-year partnership has seen CCO's receive footballs, goals and other multi-sports equipment to support their extensive community programmes.
The equipment helps CCO's cement partnerships and relationships with their local schools and communities and facilitate inclusive community projects that promote sport and healthy living. Crucially, these projects are often the only way in which young people and other under-served communities can access sporting activities.
Every EFL CCO is offered a Sports Equipment Pack, which is delivered once each season by Sports Directory on behalf of sportsdirect.com, the official community equipment sponsor of the PFA.
The power of sport, and football in particular, to effect positive change cannot be underestimated. The PFA is committed to continuing programmes such as this to ensure club community foundations remain a beneficial community resource for generations to come.