Stay in the Game fund opens – £750 Grants Available for Mens Clubs


Stay in the Game logo

The Football Association’s Stay in the Game scheme, formerly known as Retain the Game, is aimed at supporting the retention of adult male teams. The scheme provides grants of £750 to clubs with existing male teams to support the essential costs of pitch hire, training venues, and affiliation fees.

The application window is now open and is due to close on Thursday 6 June at 5pm. 


Who is eligible?

Clubs that operate with two or more male teams (u18s, u19s, u21s, u23s Open Age and Vets) and

  • ✓ Hold the FA’s Charter Standard Award (Adult, Youth, Development or Community)
  • ✓ Adult Clubs that commit to becoming FA Charter Standard within the 2019/20 season.

Only one application can be submitted per club.

Priority applications

In the event the scheme is oversubscribed, the following Clubs will be prioritised for a Stay in the Game grant:

  • ✓ Clubs with three or more adult male teams
  • ✓ Clubs that have been in existence for 5 seasons or more 
  • ✓ Clubs that have been in existence for 10 or more seasons
  • ✓ Clubs who operate in leagues employing Full Time

Who is not eligible?

  • Clubs that benefitted from a Retain the Game grant in 2018
  • Clubs that operate with a single open age male team
  • Walking football teams
  • Futsal teams
  • Small sided football teams
  • University and College teams playing exclusively in BUCs, AoC or Intramural competitions (those playing in community competitions are eligible)
  • Armed Forces teams playing in internal services competitions (those playing in community competitions are eligible)
  • New teams
  • Disability or women/girls’ teams

What do I need to do if our club is not Charter Standard?

In order to apply for Stay in the Game, non-Charter Standard clubs will need to demonstrate they are willing to commit and work towards Charter Standard status. This requires clubs to contact their County FA and initiate the process prior to submitting an application. Charter Standard status will need to have been achieved during the 2019/20 season to receive the second instalment of the grant, if successful.

Why is the FA promoting Adult Charter Standard?

The FA’s research has demonstrated that Adult Charter Standard Clubs are more sustainable and attract additional teams, players and volunteers. If clubs maintain this status, they also receive an annual benefits package from the FA.

The Football Foundation


What can the money be spent on?

The grant is designed to cover core costs including:

  • Facility hire (match day or training venue)
  • Affiliation fees

Grant Payment

The grant of £750 will be awarded split across two years. The grant instalment will vary depending on the status of the club.

The breakdown of funding is shown in the table below:

Type of club Year 1 – 2019/20 season Year 2 – 2020/21 season
Charter Standard £500 £250
Non-Charter Standard £350 £400


Year 1

Clubs will be paid their Year 1 instalment upfront once they have met all the grant pre-conditions and accepted the grant.

Year 2

To release Year 2 payment clubs must meet the following conditions:

  • Clubs will be asked to provide their receipts as evidence of the eligible expenditure for the 19/20 season (Year 1).
  • Payment will be based on the retention of male teams within the club, your club must retain the following:
Club size Retention rate
2 male teams 100%
3-5 male teams 80%
6-9 male teams 70%
10+ male teams 65%

The Year 2 funding will not be provided if the above retention rates are not met.

Please note

  • All receipts provided must be dated after the grant offer date.
  • The Football Foundation will not reimburse payments prior to the grant offer (excluding affiliation fees for the adult male teams for the 2019/20 season).
The Football Foundation


Applications are made through Grantshot, the Football Foundation’s online application portal.

If you have a Grantshot account, please login to start your application. If you do not already have an account, visit Grantshot to create one.

Apply for a Stay in the Game grant

Applicants will be notified if they have been successful or not on Wednesday 7 August.

The Football Foundation