Fans get chance to help Bulwell’s landlords win £100,000 in big vote

SHOOTING FOR THE STARS -- action from Bulwell's Boxing Day derby against Hucknall Town at Basford United's Greenwich Avenue ground
SHOOTING FOR THE STARS -- action from Bulwell's Boxing Day derby against Hucknall Town at Basford United's Greenwich Avenue ground

The future of the Dispatch district’s highest-ranked football club could be secured if their landlords win a public vote to receive £100,000.

Bulwell are urging all local football fans to back Basford United in the ‘super grant’ competition run by Budweiser.

As part of their sponsorship of the FA Cup, Budweiser are splashing the cash on grassroots football.

Eight non-league clubs from across the country, including Basford, have already landed a bumper windfall of £50,000.

Now they have gone head to head with each other in a Facebook vote to pocket another £100,000 to improve their facilities. And if Basford win, much of their money will be spent on creating a second, enclosed main pitch at their Greenwich Avenue headquarters, which would be a permanent home for their groundsharers, Bulwell.

The Bulls are currently top of the Central Midlands League’s (CML) South Division -- having won the Notts Senior League title for the past two seasons.

They are hoping to make further progress up the non-league ladder. But their ambitions have always been hampered by the lack of a permanent base to meet ground-grading requirements.

Basford offered them a valuable lifeline with the groundshare tenancy. Now that lifeline could be made secure with victory in this contest, which is part of the Budweiser Club Futures programme that has already injected £1 million into non-league football.

To vote for Basford and Bulwell, simply go to the the Budweiser Club Futures page or the FA Cup page on Facebook between now and the end of February.

Basford’s general manager Chris Munroe says: “This is what dreams are made of.

“The money would provide us with the chance to convert an ageing ground into a superb venue for watching and playing football.”

Basford have rocketed up the leagues since leaving the Notts Senior League in 2011. They were crowned CML, South Division champions in 2012 and East Midlands Counties League champions last season. They now play in the Premier Division of the Northern Counties East League -- two levels above Hucknall Town.

The Budweiser conpetition is for clubs on steps five to seven of the non-league pyramid -- ie: below Evo-Stik Northern Premier League level.

Basford won the East Midlands section after impressing judges on how to run a sustainable club. The £50,000 will help them reduce their carbon footprint as they review their electricity set-up and could help fund the installation of an irrigation system, drawing off the nearby River Leen, to bolster the club’s ecological credentials.

Adds Munroe: “This is not just a vote for Bulwell and Basford or the ground. It is a vote for the East Midlands and our football community, which has endured some really tough times in recent years.

“It would be a crying shame for this money to go to another region.

MEANWHILE the battering Greenwich Avenue has taken from heavy rain meant that Bulwell suffered their FIFTH successive postponement on Tuesday night.

Their CML, Phoenix Floodlit Trophies tie at home to Southwell City was called off because of a waterlogged pitch -- three days after their latest league game at Mickleover Royals also fell foul of the weather.

The Bulls have yet to kick a ball in 2014. Their last match was on 28th December.