The Football Foundation, the largest sports charity in the UK, has teamed up with Playfinder to roll out its innovative booking portal for community football venues.

The partnership seeks to revolutionise the way grassroots players access football facilities by delivering cutting edge technology to venues. Initially 25 venues have been selected to take part, with the potential to extend this to the additional Foundation-funded facilities in future.

Set up by the Premier League, The FA and the Government in 2000, the Football Foundation has delivered £1.5bn of community sports projects in that time, including the development of 700 all-weather surfaces, 1,000 changing pavilions and 3,000 natural grass pitches.

Playfinder, which was awarded the best iOS App of 2018 and nominated for the Best Technology for Participation at the 2018 London Sport Awards, is a free service that enables sports players to find and book their games online through the website or app.  Playfinder therefore combats a fundamental problem in the grassroots game, with research from the Football Foundation finding that 43% of organisers are frustrated with not being able to see which pitches are available when trying to book.

Football Foundation Ambassador, Graeme Le Saux, said: “As a Football Foundation ambassador we are committed to raising the standards of community football and giving more people access to top quality facilities. Playfinder shares this vision and are making a positive impact on how people access sport through an effective digital solution.”

This ground-breaking partnership means the Football Foundation will be capable of accurately tracking the number of people playing, their time spent at the facility and the frequency of their visits, with both parties working together to increase football participation. As well as increasing the digital accessibility of facilities, the partnership will help the Foundation understand where best to direct their funding.

Jamie Foale, Playfinder CEO, commented: “The Football Foundation has made huge strides transforming the landscape of community football and delivering a digital solution using our platform will make access better for footballers all over the country. This digital investment will deliver long-term results and kick-off a new era for the sport.”