Purps Skipper Signs For Season 2020-21

City of Liverpool FC skipper James McCarten has signed for season 2020-21.

The commanding centre back joined permanently from Warrington Town last season after an initial loan period at the end of the NWCFL Premier Division winning season of 2018-2019.

McCarten was made club captain during the course of last season and has now committed for the forthcoming campaign.

Supporters can join Jay in being a part of season 2020-21 by signing up for one of our great new membership packages via the following link.

Purps Announce Sports Hub Acquisition

July 9th is a special day in the City of Liverpool FC calendar. On this day in 2016 the club took to the field for the first time, in a friendly fixture away at Prestatyn Town that the debutant Purps eventually won by three goals to two.

Four years later to the day COLFC history was again being made as club directors received the keys to the King George V (KGV) Sports Complex in Huyton.

With the club’s official take over of the facility taking place at midnight, COLFC members will have woken up this Friday morning with the club they own possessing the lease to this impressive facility!

Comprising a sports hall, boxing gym, all weather football pitches, grass football pitches, tennis courts and bowling greens, the management of this complex will be a significant undertaking for the club and will mark a transition to COLFC becoming a seven days a week operation.

To be branded as PurpleHUB @ King George V, the complex will provide a training base for our first team as well as a home ground for the club’s community, junior, youth, veterans and legends teams.

In addition, in a major expansion of the club’s COLFC Community activities, KGV will be developed into a genuine community hub for Huyton.

Our plans for the site will be designed to enable new uses for the site and attract new users.

We also look forward with great excitement to working with existing service users at the site, including Huyton ABC (Brin’s Gym), Michael Corless Soccer Schools, Krav Maga, Party Kingdom, Steel Fitcamp, Moo Music, Millennium Dancers and Marie’s House.

This significant milestone in the club’s development comes as the result of almost twelve months of hard work by club directors alongside Livv Housing Group and Knowsley Council.

In particular, COLFC wishes to place on the record our thanks to the team at Livv Housing Group for their help and support in making this project happen for us. Special thanks go to Tony Cahill, Amanda Newton and Fiona Mather.

We also wish to thank the Leader of Knowsely Council, Cllr Graham Morgan, and his executive officers for taking the time to meet with us in the early stages of this project, Justin Thompson for advice and support in negotiating our way through the council’s processes, and St Michael’s ward Councillors Kay Moorhead, Joan Lilly and Mike Kearns for their continued backing.

We look forward to continuing the partnerships that we have begun to establish as we work to secure to secure capital investment to develop new facilities at the site according to community priorities

COLFC, as a Community Benefit Society and social enterprise, is committed to delivering social benefit. KGV will represent a major upshift in our capacity to achieve this.

Our operating model for the site is focused upon maximising community use of the existing facilities and establishing new facilities and services that will benefit Huyton people.

Initially we will raise awareness within the community of the facilities available for leisure, recreation and sport, reaching out to every age group and demographic.

This initial phase will also involve establishing new booking systems and raising awareness through community engagement.

Bookings are now available from the scheduled opening date of 25th July on the new PurpleHUB @ King George V website:

www.purplehub.co.uk

Research undertaken in the development of our proposals for KGV by Dr Alan Southern (University of Liverpool, Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice) identified the need for a community hub in the locality and the latent potential of COLFC to deliver this initiative:

“An important point to emerge from this work was the lack of community hubs in Knowsley. The research indicated that there no functioning community hubs in the district.

“To maximise their economic and social impact, community hubs should have a multi-purpose although not be expected to exhaustive in their offer. The ideas behind the COLFC initiative would appear to fit the general model of a community hub.”

“There is already an economic impact to the work undertaken by COLFC. However, it must be stressed how this is latent and contains much more promise. COLFC are one of those potential growth social organisations that were identified in the Heseltine research as a priority for growth support.”

As we enter our fifth year amid prevailing clouds of uncertainty, PurpleHUB @ King George V provides a reason to look forward with excitement and optimism to all associated with City of Liverpool FC.

Our club has never stood still or stopped looking for ways to develop and grow as a truly mutual community owned entity.

Today our club has grown significantly.

 

 

COLFC in the Community Catch Up

COLFC in the Community’s #Football4Everyone and Social Football sessions were halted prior to lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. This was a decision which we didn’t take lightly, knowing what our sessions mean to so many of our participants.

Despite recent FA guidance saying that small, socially distanced sessions can now take place, we decided not to resume for an indefinite period, owing to the disproportionate mortality figures linked to BAME COVID infections.

Quite simply, we aren’t prepared to risk the health of any of our participants whilst the virus is still a very real and present threat to our communities.

Since the cessation of football activities, our efforts shifted to helping our participants with asylum issues, access to foodbanks and signposting to temporary employment opportunities at such an uncertain time.

Biniyam and Hassan

This would not have been possible without the extensive list of contacts, resources and goodwill we have been afforded across the Liverpool area over the past 4 years.

For these past four years City of Liverpool FC has led the way as a beacon of inclusion and diversity in communities across Liverpool.

The ground-breaking #Football4Everyone scheme started in 2016 and now sees up to 30 refugees and asylum seekers participate in friendly sessions in Everton Park each Sunday.

The scheme sees refugees participate on mixed teams alongside local lads, aimed at building friendships, assisting community cohesion and providing participants with points of contact for their new life in Liverpool.

Since the inception of this scheme we have seen over 300 refugees and asylum seekers participate in our sessions, all of which have been provided for free, with football clothing and boots donated to all participants who need the kit which you or I might ordinarily take for granted.

‘Running’ alongside this is the increasingly popular Social Footy initiative. This used to be Walking Footy but everyone ran so we decided a re-brand was in order!

The Social Footy offering provides the opportunity to get fit, make friends or stay active, albeit in a slower paced game.

This has been particularly well supported by friendship groups formed by match-going Purps and matchday volunteers.

We also run a Wednesday night indoor session consisting of participants from all of our schemes.

We find this is a lovely metaphor for the cohesion we have witnessed across the city, but also within our own organisation. It is also a regular reminder for the coaches to wash the bibs after Sunday’s sessions!

All of our sessions are aimed at uniting our diverse community through mutual love of the beautiful game, regardless of age, ability, ethnicity or economic circumstances.

Over the past four years we have taken great pride in seeing bonds forming between communities which may not ordinarily have met.

One of the most heart-warming moments we’ve witnessed was when one of our refugees, Khalid, scored a decisive goal in a match against Mersey Marauders.

The look of delight on his face as his tidy finish hit the back of the net was only surpassed by seeing him congratulated by high fives and hugs from his team mates, all from different walks of life and all corners of the globe.

In absence of our regular football offering, it has been a great source of pride for us to see so many of our Social Footy participants and fellow Purps volunteer to become delivery drivers within the Purple Pantry, providing weekly deliveries of essential food items to the most needy within our area.

This is yet another example of our club leading the way, taking ownership of helping others in our area.

Moving forward we won’t let up in our efforts to bring communities together through mutual love of football.

We have plans to showcase the individual stories of our participants, providing regular updates of what we get up to and strengthening the existing bond we have with all aspects of COLFC.

We’re also looking forward to benefitting from an exciting potential switch in venue in the near future.

We are grateful to the recent coverage we have had in The Morning Star, and particularly James Nalton whose articles have helped us reach more people than ever.

Thanks also to those who supported our fundraiser for essential winter clothing items for our refugee footballers – the items were gratefully received by our participants.

When we do elect to resume our sessions we’ll be keen to make up for lost time.

Until then, please bear with us. We will only resume when we are confident that it is safe for ALL participants.

Despite what the government told us at the start of Lockdown, we aren’t prepared to lose any of our loved ones!

We’d like to end this little ‘catch up’ by drawing your attention to the Memberships Purchase and Renewal Window opening for Purps membership.

Please support this initiative by renewing/becoming a member and opting for one of the packages.

We’ve been greatly supported by the Club, which helps our organisation to function and reach as many people as possible.

This great relationship has helped us to benefit the lives of the many; be it refugees and asylum seekers, Social Football participants or the recipients of Purple Pantry goods.

COLFC Community Volunteers. #UTP

The following selection of images is taken from Purps Matchday’s coverage of our recent #Football4Everyone sessions.

COLFC in the Lockdown: Update #4

It is now nineteen weeks since the Purps played football and sixteen weeks since the postponement of our home fixture with Pickering as the Covid-19 virus began to take hold and our primary focus turned to supporting those facing isolation and vulnerability.

Throughout the “lockdown” City of Liverpool FC has mobilised to provide weekly food parcels to those in need and to raise funds to purchase PPE for care homes where both workers and elderly residents have been left criminally exposed to the dangers of Covid-19.

We are grateful for the tremendous coverage that these efforts have received from our friends at the Morning Star, Long Reads: Football, and Bido Lito:

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/s/colfc-community-more-vital-ever

http://longreadsfootball.com/city-of-liverpool-fc-delivering-off-the-pitch-during-covid-19/

https://www.bidolito.co.uk/long-read-this-means-more-football-merseyside-covid/

This weekend, as the government moves in its own shambolic English exceptionalist way to get us out and about and spreading the virus, or “running it hot” to quote the ludicrous Michael Gove, thoughts among supporters are inevitably turning to when semi-professional football will return.

Anticipation has been heightened by speculation about an imminent “new season” announcement from the FA and the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

In light of the way resumption of the professional game has been managed, this also means debate about the nature of non-league football post lockdown.

Clubs at our level would not last for very long without paying spectators, so how can we make sure that our supporters, as well as the players and volunteers, are as safe as they possibly can be?

The COLFC board has been working on measures that we think can mitigate the threat from Covid-19, should our local public health officials and the Independent Sage panel agree that the game should return.

The club’s proposals have been submitted to the NPL and we will provide full details to supporters in due course.

With a provisional timetable for the resumption of non-league football expected soon, our planning for the new season has stepped up.

In particular, annual memberships are up for renewal in July and supporters are urged to take advantage of the monthly payment options available.

Ranging from an all-inclusive “Purple” package (including membership, season ticket and entry to our fundraising COLlotto and P-ingo cash prize games) to a basic membership, details are available on the club’s new website:

https://cityofliverpoolfc.co.uk/news/annual-membership-purchase-and-renewal-window-is-now-open/

We urge members to take up the season ticket offer. This will help with our Covid-19 mitigation plans, as we seek to remove as much cash handling from our matchday operation as is possible.

The club is also working towards enabling further cashless entry options through contactless card payments and an exciting new partnership with Skiddle, an online ticketing company:

https://www.skiddle.com/aboutus/

Many of you will be familiar with Skiddle through purchasing tickets for gigs and events.

We are pleased that we are helping them to break new ground through this innovative ticketing partnership that will, in turn, introduce City of Liverpool FC to a whole new online market.

Again, both we and Skiddle will be providing more details to supporters in the very near future.

Following on from our previous update, the search for a suitable kit provider has concluded in the club signing a two-year deal with Puma Teamwear.

We are delighted to enter into this partnership, that provides us with value for money, quality kit and a security of supply.

Under this arrangement, for the first time, all COLFC teams will be wearing the same kit, which will no doubt become as popular and iconic as previous Purps rigouts.

Puma Teamwear will be announcing our partnership on social media, but for some reason they have prioritised Borussia Dortmund and PSV over the Purps’ Adi to Rudi Dassler defection!

When our season starts, the new Puma purple will be donned by two new COLFC teams.

Both will be competing at Veterans level and will be managed by Purps “originals” who have been with the club from the start – former first team coach and assistant manager Tom Spearritt and club member Fran Stanton.

We are sure that all our members and supporters will get behind these new ventures for the club, especially when more details are revealed. Stay tuned!

Two signings for the forthcoming season that the club can confirm are those of Craig Cairns and Tony Gray.

Craig is already a crowd favourite, having scored 28 goals in our 2018/19 NWCFL title winning campaign, while Tony brings the experience and quality in attack that Craig Robinson has been working hard to bring to the club.

Purps will remember Tony scoring a good goal against us for Warrington Town in last season’s FA Cup replay. Welcome back Craig and welcome to the purple madness Tony!

While the football talk is exciting, and the club has more announcements in the pipeline as we prepare for a return to action on the pitch, please be aware that the current crisis is not over.

This government is still, and with greater vigour, pursuing a dangerous herd immunity policy in England, sacrificing health and lives for economic gain and political ideology.

Please continue to look after yourselves and your loved ones, particularly those with disabilities and those with health conditions.

COLFC Board of Directors