Parklands FC in Widnes benefit from PayPal windfall after joining Matchday revolution

Parklands FC were among three grassroots clubs to land £10k from PayPal following their use of our Matchday app last season. Here, the club’s founder, first-team manager and club admin James Melvin explains how the app and the prize money are helping build a brighter future for the Widnes-based club…

Wednesday 26 Aug 2020
Parklands FC play their games at Parklands Sports Club in Widnes

For me as a manager, and I know it sounds corny, but the app’s really been a game changer for us.

The club was originally started back in 2006, when it was basically just a pub team, and I was heavily involved in those early years but then had to leave in 2012 due to work, and it basically folded after that.

But when circumstances changed, we re-affiliated and came back together in 2014 and we’ve gone from what used to just be an adult men’s team to grow into a community club.

We’ve now got two open-age sides and five junior teams and we’re starting to see some success with the first team in recent years, as we’re now playing at county level in the Cheshire Football League and on Step 7 in the NLS.

Our first team have proved to be successful in the last few years

That progress has been really encouraging for the local youth, who are excited to come and play a part in that and get on their own football pathway with us.
So as a growing club, Matchday has been a bit help and a breath of fresh air in that it’s taken all of that increasing admin work off me to a certain extent.

For instance, you can add a lot of the match details like substitutes, goalscorers, etc, during the game and then you can collect your sub payments from all the players, which is something that was always a painstaking process.

Having the app, for me to be able to see who’s up-to-date on payments and who’s not, it’s also meant a lot of those awkward conversations I used to have are now going away as well. I’ve found that I’m not having to chase anyone up anymore, which is brilliant.

I’ve been an advocate of Matchday in our league and tried to get other teams onto it.

For me, it’s definitely a help and I’m looking forward to working with the new features and functions that come out too.

We play our games at Parklands Sports Club

But when we heard about the prize win, it was such a surprise. I originally entered at the start of last season and had forgotten all about it so when I got the email, I thought it was some kind of joke.

That type of money is going to be huge for us, and even though we haven’t decided what we’re going to spend it on yet, there’s a few areas where we’re trying to develop as a club.

We want to improve our youth section and also the ground maintenance is very expensive for us so we’re looking to get some of our own equipment.

Because of the way our club is set up - our facilities are at Parklands Sports Club and we don’t own the premises - we’re not accessible to any grants so we have to rely on sponsorship but this prize money could help in developing the facilities so the team can continue to progress.

It just opens doors for us to grow as a club and with the first team progressing as they are, then hopefully we might have to upgrade our criteria again in the near future.

By James Melvin Parklands FC manager and founder