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Jim McMahon MP shines new light on improved pitch for Chadderton FC
Monday 23rd April 2018 @ 13:52 by Mark Phillip

Jim McMahon, MP for Oldham West and Royton, was delighted to officially unveil Chadderton FC’s improved stadium pitch and floodlights recently (Saturday 21 April), thanks to a grant from the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) – the largest funders of non-league football in the country.

The funding has enabled the club to perform much-needed pitch improvement works, including levelling and reseeding. This will help them to maintain a consistent quality of surface throughout their season, which was not previously possible due to the condition of the grass pitch. This is of great benefit to their players, as it enables the club to provide a more effective training environment.

The project also included upgrading the site’s existing floodlights. The lighting system was originally installed over 35 years ago, and performing regular maintenance and repairs had become difficult due to its age. As a result, the Step 6 club was having difficulties keeping up the required level of light.

Now, the floodlights have had their lamps and wiring replaced, which will make their upkeep more efficient and reduce their running costs. This will help Chadderton FC, which plays in the North West Counties Football League, to continue to meet the Category G requirements of the FA National Ground Grading Criteria.


Chadderton FC, which was formed in 1946 and boasts former England midfielder David Platt amongst its alumni, is pleased that they can now offer their players a better quality pitch and improved safety through better lighting. This will also benefit other clubs in the area, with the stadium acting as a venue for local Cup Finals.

The project was made possible by a £28,796 grant from the Premier League, which is delivered through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund – the sister organisation of the Football Foundation. Chadderton FC also received £15,000 from Lancaster Trust Fund towards the upgrades, and contributed £1,000 of their own funds.

Funded with £6.5m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF – the sister organisation of the Football Foundation – is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.

Jim McMahon, MP for Oldham West and Royton, said: “I’m honoured to have been asked to officially unveil Chadderton FC’s stadium upgrades, which will be of such benefit to its players and local supporters.

“Upgrading the pitch surface and floodlights is fantastic for the club and I hope that they make the most of this. Football is such an important part of the area here, which means that Chadderton FC’s project will have a positive impact on many people. My thanks go to the Premier League for their investment.”

Bob Sopel, Chadderton FC Chairman, said: “We would like to thank the FSIF for granting us the funding to make this project possible. We now have a first class playing surface, which is one of best in the area. We get accolades from visiting teams regarding the condition of our pitch, which I should mention is well maintained by our groundsmen Mike McKay and David Sheperd.

“Also, we would like to thank the Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council for their support and granting us a 35 year lease on our ground, without this we could not apply for funding to carry out the works.”

Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “Thanks to the investment of the Premier League, the FSIF is working to improve stadia at lower levels of the game and Chadderton FC’s upgrade is just one great example of how this is being achieved. I’m really pleased to hear that this is already making a difference for the club.

“It is vital that we continue to improve infrastructure throughout lower league levels so that we can offer players, coaches and spectators better experiences – helping them to focus on the reasons that they fell in love with the game in the first place. I hope Chadderton FC are able to make the most of their improved pitch and floodlights.”

By Sophie Huby