Stay in the Game

Delivered by the Football Foundation and funded by The FA, the Stay in the Game scheme aims to support the retention of football teams across the country.

The Football Association’s Stay in the Game scheme, formerly known as Retain the Game, is aimed at supporting the ongoing participation of adult male teams.


Grant eligibility


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

About the grant


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



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

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:
    If you are a club with 2 male teams – 100% retention
    If you are a club with 3-5 male teams – 80% retention
    If you are a club with 6-9 male teams – 70% retention
    If you are a club with 10+ male teams -  65% retention

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 made prior to the grant offer (excluded affiliation fees for the adult male teams for the 2019/20 season). 

How do I apply?


Applications are currently closed

Stay in the Game is an extremely popular scheme and the assessment process is competitive, therefore we strongly recommend that before making an application you contact your local County Football Association when the grant is next available.

If you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact