Sheffield United's new ticket cashback scheme to raise funds for local sports clubs, communities and schools across the region has begun well.
Organisations that buy the reduced priced tickets specially available for 10 home fixtures under the United Cashback Initiative (UCI) will receive back 50 per cent via the Blades with the Club also making a donation to The Children's Hospital Charity.
Local club Brunsmeer A AFC were the first to sign up and watched the 3-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers. Pictured are members of their junior boys and girls team, their chairman Paul Shepherd, plus United striker Matt Done and Operations Director Dave McCarthy
McCarthy said: "Raising funds is getting more and more difficult and time consuming. With Sheffield United, local clubs and schools can get help raising the funds and the opportunity of a great discounted match day experience, watching a football match all together in the Duchy Homes Family Stand.
"The scheme is proving popular so we advise those interested to contact the Club as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org to register."
Organisations will receive 50 per cent after VAT of all the UCI tickets sold - the more sold, the more is raised. Representatives from each groups will also have the opportunity to get involved in the pitchside Guard of Honour flag-wave, half-time penalty shoot-out and all will receive acknowledgements in the match day programme and on the big screen.
There will be the added bonus that groups who raise the most could qualify for:
- Football equipment provided for their school or club
- The chance to play a game on the Bramall Lane pitch at the end of the season
- Coaching sessions from Blades coaches
- A visit to their Club or School by Blades first team players
"It really is a simple to use scheme" said Mr McCarthy. "We just need someone from each school, club or community organisation to pick one of the 10 fixtures that are offered and get in touch with the club by email or phone to register with us - the sooner the better as we expect this to be a very popular scheme."
Reaction to news of the scheme has been positive.
Matt Hardman, Chairman of the Sheffield and District Junior Football League, said: "This initiative looks a fantastic way of raising money for our clubs and teams. With ever increasing costs this will surely benefit them and forge closer links with Sheffield United, whose support we are extremely grateful for."
John Allen, Sheffield Schools Football Secretary, said: "This is a superb opportunity for schools to be involved in what is a community based fundraising initiative and at the same time raise valuable funds for their own schools."
"We fully support this scheme, aimed at raising much needed funds for clubs, schools, community organisations and charities like us," said Tchad Western, Corporate Fundraiser with The Children's Hospital Charity. "The Club has agreed to donate part of the proceeds to the Charity and we thank the Blades for their continued generosity and commitment."