Purps Announce Legends Team

City of Liverpool FC are delighted announce the formation of a ‘Legends’ team which will form part of a brand new Veterans section of the club.

Teams within the Veterans section will play home fixtures at the club’s new Purple Hub @ King George V playing fields in Huyton.

We are pleased to welcome back Tom Spearritt, who will manage the Legends team. Tom will be a familiar face to most Purps, having been a member of the coaching staff for 3 years since our debut season.

Tom initially held the role of Assistant Manager under Simon Burton, helping the Purps to four trophies in that time.

Spearritt then stayed on as a physio and coach during Craig Robinson’s 1st season in charge, in which the Purps won the NWCFL Premier Division on a dramatic final day at Irlam.

Spearritt will be assisted by former Purps forward Daley Woods and is extremely excited to return to the club, “When the Chairman approached me about taking up the role it was something that I was keen to discuss. A few phone calls later and I was on board.”

“I’ve asked Daley to come in and assist with the team, although I’m still expecting him to be putting the ball in the net as well!”

Tom’s squad will comprise of an exciting array of former Purps stars mainly from that famous first season where we achieved promotion from the NWCFL Division One via the Play Offs and won the Reusch and Macron cups.

Spearritt explained, “Thankfully the majority of the lads who are well known from the 2016/17 team have committed to the cause”.

Initially the Legends side will play a number of friendlies throughout the year with a view to placing them into a local league from 2021/2022.

“Going forward we are looking to arrange several games over the season against various teams, ex pro players, hospital and key worker teams. Each match will be dedicated to a local charity and support the growth of the Purple Hub.

Spearritt continued, “We are hoping the fans will get on board once again and we can all reminisce about our treble winning season.”

“Me and the lads are looking forward to getting the purple shirts back on, although it’ll be a coat for me!”

Legends Squad: Stephen Longrigg, Tom Spearritt, Sean Kelly, Tony Dunne, Allen Weston, Todd Blayney, Mike Smith, John Connolly, Phil McDiarmid, Ant Daniels, Declan Gregson, Billy Webb, Leon Williams, Rob Ablewhite, Aaron Rey, Daley Woods.

There will be a further announcement this week regarding the formation the Veterans section of the club, which has been planned and led by member Francis Stanton.

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.

 

 

Cairns returns to the purps

COLFC are delighted to announce that Craig Cairns has committed himself to the club for Season 2020/21.

Our prolific ex-centre forward and fans favourite scored 28 goals in his first season with the club, which helped propel us to the Premier Division title in the NWCFL.

Craig moved back to Runcorn Town last season to be a bit nearer to home for the birth of his second child, but will now be back in the famous Purple for a crack at the NPL North West Division.

Craig said “I missed the club last season and family comes first, but it was an easy decision to come back to the Purps and when I spoke to Robbo, it was all done and dusted in 5 minutes.

I now can’t wait to get started and get back to the lads and the staff and of course the supporters, who were always great with me.”

Manager Craig Robinson said “To have Craig back with us for the new season is great news and I’m sure it will the fans a big lift in this tough period we are all going through.

Craig is a natural born goalscorer with a hunger to be successful that matches our clubs’. He showed great desire to come back and it didn’t take long to get the deal over the line.

I’m sure he’ll get a big welcome back when we can all return”

New Club Secretary Appointed

City of Liverpool FC is pleased to announce the appointment of John Lavin as Club Secretary.
John will be a familiar face to Purps supporters having been an active participant in Club activities since the Bootle pre-season friendly in 2016, regularly attending fixtures with the rest of the Lavin clan, assisting with the COLlotto and being a participant in COLFC Community sessions.
John replaces Peter Manning who stepped down at the end of season 2019/20. Peter has kindly agreed to assist John during a transitional period where he can get up to speed with the role’s myriad responsibilities ahead of football activities resuming.
Speaking of his appointment, John said, “It’s a great privilege and honour to take on the role of COLFC Club Secretary. I look forward to the challenges ahead in serving this great club and know I have big shoes to fill in matching the standards set by my predecessor Peter Manning.”
John is 59 and a Probation Officer and so is used to mixing administration with interpersonal skills in his day job. As it is a role that only a full on Purp could take on, we felt that John was the perfect candidate.
The club felt that an internal appointment was ideal, especially with having the outgoing Secretary Peter on hand to assist, so we wish John all the best as he takes up his new role with immediate effect.

Coronavirus update from the club

PURPLE LOCKDOWN – UPDATE

The club’s last fixture, away to Prescot Cables in February, is now a distant memory and people’s minds have quite rightly been focused upon more important things than football. The Covid-19 crisis has enveloped the entire planet and, as has always been the way, here in Liverpool the community has rallied around to protect and support our vulnerable and isolated residents. COLFC is proud to be part of this social solidarity movement, mobilising our COLFC Community and COLFC Welfare resources and repurposing our Purple Pantry Food Union project to provide weekly food parcels to older people in isolation. We are also proud that the club’s sponsors and partners have enthusiastically backed our transformation from football club to community organisation.

CLUB SPONSORS

As always, the club’s main sponsor Regenda Homes has been at the forefront of working alongside COLFC’s efforts in the community. In addition to providing crucial funds that enable our club to function, Regenda has always been a big supporter of COLFC Foodbank, with regular donations being made by both staff and the organisation itself. Of course, and as if it would be any other way, when the current restrictions began and we announced our intention to begin delivering weekly food parcels to older people in isolation, Regenda immediately responded with a delivery of supplies. As always, COLFC is both grateful and proud to be associated with Regenda and places on the record our sincere thanks to Michael Birkett, Kevin Short and all the Regenda staff that we have got to know over the past four years.

The Progressive Lifestyle Solutions (PLS) logo has featured on the club tracksuits for the past two seasons, after having previously been our reserve team shirt sponsor. PLS is a multi-award winning social enterprise, based on Walton Road in Kirkdale, specialising in the provision of accommodation for vulnerable residents transitioning to independent living. The PLS Food Foundation is a partner in COLFC Community’s Purple Pantry Food Union, alongside Liverpool Independent Cooperatives. Together with Regenda, PLS responded immediately to the club’s efforts to support the vulnerable and isolated during the coronavirus crisis by providing a delivery of food and household items and assisting in stocking the shelves of our store. Like Regenda, PLS is much more than a sponsor, sharing and supporting the core values that make COLFC much more than a football club.

Supporters attending our Liverpool County FA Senior Cup victory over Everton (this result still stands!) will have been introduced to Perfect Getaways and some will have booked holidays and breaks with a Purple Perfect Getaways discount. Unfortunately the termination of the season cut short a partnership that was just beginning to gain momentum. Nevertheless, club members that have bookings with Perfect Getaways have had nothing but praise for the way they are handling customer concerns during what is a very difficult and uncertain time for the travel industry. We wish Dave and all of his team good health and good fortune as they work to ensure that their customers are looked after and have holidays to look forward to when better times return.

The Morning Star is the world’s only English language daily newspaper of the left. Staunch in its support for the working class and for Jeremy Corbyn, COLFC has a natural ally in the Morning Star. In addition to match sponsorship, the paper has provided extensive coverage of our club’s footballing and non-non footballing activities. Morning Star journalist James Nalton provides a weekly COLFC feature in the paper, and has covered the social inclusion and anti-racism work of COLFC Community, the work around mental health undertaken by COLFC Welfare, and has extensively featured the club’s robust response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the abject failure of the government to instigate appropriate measures in a timely and effective manner. Please subscribe to the Morning Star here: www.morningstaronline.co.uk/subscribe

Our latest partners, GT Decorators, didn’t even get to feature in a home programme due to the cancellation of the Northern Premier League season! Nevertheless, the sponsorship has continued and has enabled the club to pay bills and continue our work in the community throughout the current period of restrictions. The club thanks GT Decorators for their absolutely crucial support at what is a difficult time for all businesses. We look forward to fully developing our partnership when the football returns.

GREAT PURPLEISATION!

Speaking of the match programme, we must give a mention to Andy Wilson of FC Print & Finish. FC undertakes the printing of the club’s match programmes, tickets and marketing materials, including our pitchside advertising boards. As well as producing the highest quality materials for the club, Andy is incredibly patient in waiting for payment! Obviously with no further home fixtures, including a couple of big local derbies not being played, we have asked Andy to be even more patient than usual. In the meantime, any members or supporters requiring any print products can return Andy’s favour to the club and give FC Print & Finish a call on 0151 289 5232.

Finally, our biggest sponsors, you our members and supporters; COLFC literally is you, you are the club, it was formed by and exists for you as representatives of the wider Liverpool community. Since the cancellation of the league season, not a single member has queried ongoing membership fees – in fact one member, who initially required assistance with affording membership payments, has now upped his monthly payment to £100! In addition, not a single season ticket holder has requested any repayment for the matches outstanding. On top of this, our fundraising volunteers continue to bring in funds from the COLotto, Pingo, Last Partisan Standing and a tremendous effort to raise funds for the Purple Pantry food parcels. For all of this fantastic support, the board of directors is eternally grateful.

MOVING FORWARD

As football continues to be “the most important of the least important things”, COLFC will continue to work to support those in our community who face ongoing isolation and vulnerability to both the Covid-19 virus and the catastrophic money before life government policy. However we do still have to run a football club. Members will have registered for our “virtual” AGM and will be receiving further information from the club as the date approaches. We will continue to provide updates and arrange online discussions with members and supporters and, as the day that football returns becomes closer, further bulletins will provide exciting details about our pre-season programme and the continuing upgrades being made to the Berry Street Garages Stadium by Bootle FC.

Until we meet again, please look after yourselves and your loved ones by following the strictest guidance on social distancing and the isolation of our vulnerable elders, those with disabilities and those with health conditions.

COLFC sends solidarity and support to the essential workers that are keeping us afloat through this crisis. “The people choose their own heroes”.

COLFC Board of Directors

Season Null & Void – FA Final Decision

On Thursday 9th April the FA confirmed that the decision to declare the season beneath Step 2 null and void would be upheld.

Understandably, this decision has not been received with enthusiasm. In particular, we sympathise with those local clubs who were looking to end the season on a high note, with trophies and promotions on the horizon.

Everybody in non-league knows the amount of hard work that goes into just keeping a team on the pitch all season. Success at the end of a hard season makes the years of toil worthwhile; to have that taken away due to reasons far beyond the remit of football must be heart-breaking.

However, as Jurgen Klopp has famously stated, “football is the most important of the least important things”. The country is in the grip of a crisis unparalleled outside of wartime. While football often offers a welcome escape from life’s troubles, we cannot allow football to blind us to the gravity of the situation we are in.

Many people, including a number of our volunteers and players, have been infected by this virus. Many of us have friends or family working in front line occupations, risking their health and the health of their loved ones as a direct consequence of PPE provision that would be unacceptable health and safety practice in a routine production line environment, let alone in hospitals facing a killer pandemic.

Most of us are socially distancing, while our older and less well friends and relatives still face weeks, if not months, of further isolation. Unfortunately, some have also lost loved ones prematurely. Our sincere condolences go to all who have experienced such devastating loss.

Of course, one day, we will return to football. However, there is absolutely no certainty when that will be. The biggest clubs, in the European Clubs Association, along with FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League remain committed to the completion of the 2019/20 season. However, the prospect of this being completed before August remains remote. Similarly, both the EFL and National League have kept the option of completing the season on the table.

However, all of the competitions concerned involve professional clubs and players. Full-time professionalism awards clubs a greater degree of isolation and self-containment for their playing squads. In the semi-professional ranks we would be bringing people together for training and matches from an array of backgrounds, from social distancing to front line workers. In the current, and ongoing, climate that is not acceptable.

At the top of the tree, broadcasting revenues make “behind closed doors” a viable option. Obviously this diminishes the further teams are down the football pyramid and playing behind closed doors becomes less viable, although the National League does benefit from a TV deal.

Practically, as a club that relies on gate receipts to cover match related outgoings, we would not be able to consider a behind closed doors option. We also think it is likely that this would apply to clubs that rely on bar takings and the hire of facilities that remain indefinitely closed due to social distancing measures.

Ethically, we are loath to put the health and safety of supporters, volunteers, players and staff at risk should an economically, rather than scientifically, driven partial lifting of restrictions on gatherings be lifted. We believe that, up to the suspension of fixtures after 14th March, football had been unnecessarily cavalier with public health concerns for at least a week.

The blame for this lies fairly and squarely with the government and the disastrously laissez faire policy of herd immunity.

In the continued absence of a testing, tracing and isolating regime, COLFC remains unconvinced that herd immunity has been fully replaced as a government strategy. As such we remain resolute that our supporters, volunteers, players and staff will not be part of any “herd” should that potentially catastrophic, ideologically driven, policy of “taking it on the chin” rear its head again.

We will remain guided by trusted voices, such as Professor John Ashton and the World Health Organisation, and urge people not to be distracted from the task at hand by “nudge” messaging from the government’s Behavioural Insights Team. These, often conflicting, messages are not based on medical science but on behavioural economics and are intended to judge public reaction to political options, not provide public health information.

As things stand, COLFC remains more a community organisation that a football club. We have mobilised our COLFC Community volunteers as part of the Liverpool City Region social and solidarity economy. Parcels of food and household items are being delivered to vulnerable and isolated people on a weekly basis by our volunteers. Our Club Welfare Officer is using social media to provide links to sources of guidance and support, including resources for those who may feel that the current situation is affecting their mental health.

Our PurpsTV YouTube channel is being used as a platform for online fitness sessions, accessible to all ability levels, delivered by Juanita Steel Fitcamp. We ask that everybody involved with the club, in whatever capacity, does whatever they can to make sure our vulnerable neighbours are safe and well.

COLFC sends solidarity and support to all of those workers that are keeping us afloat through these difficult times. The healthcare workers; the nurses, medics, porters, cleaners and all the other staff that prop up the NHS in the face of cutbacks, lack of investment, PFI, outsourcing, low pay and lack of essential PPE. The workers in care homes and in retail, many of them among the most exploited and lowest paid in our economy, but essential to civilised life.

The transport workers, the workers in warehousing and distribution, and all of those that are keeping essential workers and our food stocks in the right places at the right time. The role of these workers must be rewarded with decent pay and the best of conditions, including the health and safety at work that has been criminally neglected in the face of the pandemic threat.

Until we meet again, please look after yourselves and your loved ones by following the strictest guidance on social distancing and the isolation of our vulnerable elders, those with disabilities and those with health conditions.

We remain in the match of our lives.

COLFC Board of Directors