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Football clubs providing major boost to communities

Football clubs providing major boost to communities
The new football season is still only in its infancy but a number of teams have come flying out of the blocks and while various sides are performing well on the pitch many more are making big strides off it.

Clubs are always looking for ways to expand their current confines with either the extension of their stadium or moving to a completely new ground and this is providing a significant boost to both the construction industry and the communities in which these clubs reside.

The likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Queen's Park Rangers have already given a nod to their futures by revealing plans for new stadiums, training complexes or youth academies, but these developments are not just for the good of the club.

Tottenham are a prime example of a club that is becoming increasingly integral to the area in which their ground is situated. During the August 2011 UK riots, the north London area was at the heart of looting as many shops and local businesses were targeted by rampaging youths. Since then, the club has been pushed to the forefront as a driving force that can provide something much more worthwhile for the community. In the aftermath of the riots first team players Benoît Assou-Ekotto and Peter Crouch, who has since left for Stoke City, helped with the clean-up operation and now the club has looked to aid even further.

Following a failed attempt to gain residency of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, Tottenham have now moved ahead with the planning of a stadium in their current location to replace the aging White Hart Lane and allow them to compete with some of the best team in the world in terms of revenue. The first development within this new stadium plan is the creation of a Sainsbury's supermarket, which will be situated north of the proposed ground and will also incorporate a commercial/education space.

Officials have stated that the development will be ready by early 2013/late 2014 and that McLaren Construction will be responsible for taking on the project. Not only does this mean that the building company is guaranteed a long-term campaign, but Tottenham stated that the supermarket, which will be one of the biggest of its ilk, will help to provide 250 jobs. Officials also said that they plans to set up a special team to assist people from the local area gain these positions providing an improvement in the employment market.

While Tottenham have been looking to help the local area through the creation of jobs in the construction of its new stadium, Everton have taken a different approach and looked to help the next generation gain a better education with the development of a new free school.

As part of education minister Michael Gove's decision to create 55 schools of this type this year, Everton Free School opened its doors to new pupils for the first time at the start of this school year, providing the opportunity for local children to get a better education.
Mr Gove said: "Every child should have the choice to go to an excellent local school. These new schools have been set up by idealistic people who are determined to give parents the kind of choice that only the rich can currently afford. The first 24 free schools are enormously popular and I expect this second wave to be equally successful."

In a club statement, Everton said that the free school is designed to help youngsters aged between 14 and 19 years old to use the power of football to assist them through their academic career. The facility will use alternative methods to allow these adolescents to re-engage with their studies and aims to reach out to those that have been excluded in the past or are in danger of being excluded from their current education.

The free school will receive funding from the government and will be run by the club's charity which has a plethora of senior practitioners providing a full range of educational material that will also compliment the current regulation that is used in the academic sphere at the moment.

"This represents a fantastic opportunity for Everton Football Club and its charitable arm, Everton in the Community, to further extend its reach into a wide variety of communities across the Merseyside region. It will, unquestionably, provide a real chance for some less-privileged, less-fortunate children to embrace - and benefit from - a high-quality education," the club statement added.

While there may be a common misconception surrounding football teams and players that they are only interested in making money and only focused on the means for themselves, these developments show how important these teams are to the community. The likes of Tottenham and Everton have been shown to be making a concerted commitment to helping in communities which are in need of much needed support.

Football teams have the ability to delight and dazzle on the field of play but off it they are also making significant in roads to providing a lasting legacy in the areas in which they reside.

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Date: 21/09/2012 16:29:10

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