FOCUS ON FOOTBALL STADIA IMPROVEMENT FUND 5 PAUL THOROGOOD CHIEF EXECUTIVE CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S FOREWORD The antecedent of the FSIF wasThe Football Trust,which was launched in 1990,in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster. This and other similar disasters,such as that at Heysel Stadium in 1985, made it clear that we could not keep‘herding’ hundreds of thousands of supporters every week into crumbling,Edwardian stadia that needed to be modernised and/or rebuilt.As a response,the Government reduced tax on pools competitions such as“spot the ball” to createThe Football Trust,which used this funding to help improve the stadia of clubs playing in the top two tiers of English football,the First and Second Division – now of course the Premier League and the EFL Championship. By 2000,the work ofThe FootballTrust was largely complete,so attention was re-focused onto community-level football through the creation of the Football Foundation. However, at the same time,it was recognised that,while the top tiers of English football by then benefited from some of the best stadia in the world, stadia in the rest of the National League System remained in a parlous state. Therefore,the FSIF was created to address this. Initially the FSIF was funded equally byThe FA and the Premier League,but since 2010,it has been funded solely by the Premier League,which has increased the funds available. Our job is to ensure that this funding is spent where it is going to have the greatest impact where it is needed most. Generally,this is at the lower-end of the National League System,where small amounts of funding can have a disproportional, positive impact in terms of improving the safety and comfort of supporters. Over the past year, 128 grants have been awarded through the FSIF, helping to fund projects across the country worth more than £9.5m. But,as has already been noted elsewhere in this publication,our work is not limited solely to improving stadia facilities. We also provide over £590,000 towards the running costs of Kick it Out,the Football Supporters’ Federation, Supporters Direct and Level Playing Field, helping to promote inclusivity,tolerance,unity and accessibility. Moreover,we provide £1.5m towards projects aimed specifically at supporting activities that will improve the relationship between fans and their clubs. Throughout this annual review,you will be able to see some of the fantastic work that has been accomplished with support from the FSIF. From improving the safety,comfort and satisfaction of supporters to delivering aspirational schemes to strengthen community ties,the FSIF continues to deliver significant benefit to the lower-levels of the game,thanks to investment that comes from the very top of the game. I hope you enjoy reading about some of our key successes. PAULTHOROGOOD “ THE FSIF HAS AWARDED GRANTS TO 128 PROJECTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WORTH OVER £9.5M.”