BT Sport's the Supporters Club and Premier League fund Manchester City's Foundation, ‘one city' disability football programme


​With support from BT Sport’s The Supporters Club and the Premier League, Manchester City’s Foundation, City in the Community is enhancing its disability sport provision for young people in Manchester.

With support from BT Sport’s The Supporters Club and the Premier League, Manchester City’s Foundation, City in the Community is enhancing its disability sport provision for young people in Manchester. City in the Community has secured a substantial grant over a three-year period from a new match-funding partnership between BT Sport’s The Supporters Club and the Premier League. Today’s announcement is the second funding agreement following August’s announcement of support for the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

Marking the announcement, Manchester City midfield star Frank Lampard took part in a special documentary feature on the work of City in the Community for BT Sport which is available here (http://po.st/R09Dta). In the film, former Chelsea and England player Lampard took part in a wheelchair football coaching session and met a group of inspiring participants who’ve taken part in the sessions for the past three years. Founded in 1986, Manchester City’s landmark City in the Community programme continues to make a positive contribution to the community of Manchester, impacting more than 45,000 people last season alone.

The “One City” initiative will work with 1,000 young people with disabilities, providing them with free access to football provision. It aims to improve employability, as 15% of young disabled people in Manchester are NEET (Not in education employment or training) as opposed to 7 per cent of their non-disabled peers. Other activities will include a schools programme delivered to specialist support schools in Manchester, powerchair football and disability awareness courses aimed at breaking down barriers when it comes to the subject of disability. Having recently recruited an apprentice who’ll help deliver the sessions, the project will also engage with ten disabled volunteers per year.

The Supporters Club and the Premier League are forming a partnership that aims to provide funding to strong, innovative, social change programmes delivered by Premier League clubs/community projects focussed on improving the lives of young people.

The Supporters Club aims to build a better world by bringing people together through sport. The Supporters Club helps disadvantaged young people, in the UK and overseas. Funds are raised thanks to BT Sport customers choosing to add an additional £1, £3 or £5 to their monthly BT bill as a donation. All the money raised is added to a fund which is managed by Comic Relief, one of the UK’s leading grant-making organisations. Comic Relief uses its expertise to make sure The Supporters Club grants are given to sustainable projects using sport as an enabler for social change. BT and Comic Relief work closely together to allocate the money: at least 50% of donations are awarded to UK-based projects, and the remainder to international projects such as in Sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil and India.

The Supporters Club has raised over £3 million from BT Sport customers and BT since it was launched in June 2013. This has been used to fund 19 sport-inspired community projects – ten in the UK and nine overseas,with over 90,000 peoplenow signed up to the initiative.

David Rowley, senior commercial manager, The Supporters Club, said: “The Supporters Club is absolutely thrilled to help Manchester City’s Foundation deliver this excellent programme in the region. This also marks the latest stage in our deepening relationship with the Premier League and realisation of The Supporters Club’s unique combination of BT Sport viewers, BT staff, our TV reach and BT’s partnerships to help bring change for good.”

Frank Lampard said: “It’s been a real privilege to see first-hand one of the invaluable programmes City in the Community is delivering in Manchester. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the young people is a true testament to the impact they are having.”

Mike Green, Head of City in the Community, said: “Manchester City is committed to promoting equality of opportunity, diversity and respect across all its activities. We are passionate about empowering lives through football; providing opportunities for all is a big part of the work we do every day in Manchester. This funding will allow us to not only enhance our disability sport provision but engage with even more local people.”

Simon Morgan, head of community development, Premier League, said: "The Premier League are proud to be part of this exciting new partnership with BT Sport’s The Supporters Club, supporting projects that are designed to positively impact on young people’s lives. City in the Community is a model of best practice in its field and this funding will further demonstrate the importance of local club-led community programmes."


About City in the Community

City in the Community (CITC) is Manchester City FC’s award winning community scheme. Founded in 1986, CITC has engaged with people from all areas of Manchester, showing the Club’s commitment to supporting its local communities. One of our key aims is to empower people through football. We do this by delivering a wide range of programmes across four main themes:Football and Multi Sports, Skills and Enterprise, Health and Activity and Community Cohesion.

Football is more than just a game but is a force that can be used to uplift our world and our city. We see this in action across Manchester every day. During 2013-14, City in the Community delivered more than 41,000 hours of community work in Manchester more than 9,000 individual community sessions, including more than 1,300 hours of free football programming during school holidays and other peak periods of anti-social behaviour.

City in the Community provided 158 young people with volunteering opportunities, provided in excess of 1,760 hours of work experience placements, and helped 1,100 local residents gain new qualifications in 2013-14. The Foundation also witnessed a significant increase in the number of female participants in its programs in 2013-14 to 34% of all participants. Last season, it delivered over 28,000 hours of programmes and worked with almost 267,000 contacts - more than ever before.

About Barclays Premier League

The Barclays Premier League is the most watched continuous annual global sporting event in the world. Last season 13.9 million fans attended matches with record average stadium occupancy of 95.9%. Across nine months of the year, 380 matches are viewed in 175 countries with coverage available in over 650 million households. The quality of Premier League football and the interest that it generates allows us to support all areas of the sport. This season we will invest in more than 50 new artificial grass roots pitches in communities across the UK and deliver hundreds of projects that focus on improving sports coaching in schools and inspiring young people to play sport. The financial investment in this important area of our work will be £56m. On top of this, the Premier League also invests in the Football League, the Football Conference and other football bodies. Premier League football provides in excess of £1.3bn per season to the UK Government in tax revenue.

About The Supporters Club

The Supporters Club aims to build a better world by bringing people together through sport. Donations from BT and our customers are invested into projects selected in partnership with Comic Relief. When customers sign up to BT Sport, they are able to make a recurring £1, £3 or £5 monthly subscription to The Supporters Club to help support these and other similar projects.