By ANTON RIPPON
A social media company that has invested over £4million in developing a free-to-download app that in three years has been adopted by 45 per cent of Swedish grassroots football clubs is to launch it to the non-League game in Britain.
From next season the London FA is adopting the app across its cup competitions, and youth leagues and disability football will also use it, but the company, Sportswik, is already helping one English non-League club to rebuild after several years in the doldrums.
Croydon FC, who play in the South-East Counties League’s Premier Division, are wearing Sportswik’s logo on their shirts in a non-financial arrangement that will, according to club chairman Martin Burr, “keep the shirt” warm while Croydon re-establishes itself.
It was founded in 1953 as Croydon Amateurs. Ten years later the suffix “Amateurs” was dropped due to the impending changes in the status of players. In 2006, as part of the restructuring of non-League football, Croydon lost its place in the Isthmian League. Since then the club has been rebuilding and in 2014-15 switched from the Combined Counties League to the South-East Counties League, formerly the Kent League.
Martin Wiklund, Sportswik’s CEO, said: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Croydon FC – and help the club re-establish itself and build a new generation of fans through the app.
“When it comes to sports social media Twitter and Facebook can’t rival Sportswik’s functionality, which is why it has proved so popular in Scandinavia. We spent the summer adapting the app to the needs of grassroots football in Britain and can’t wait to get started.”
Tony Snow, a former senior communications manager at the FA and now head of Sportswik’s UK Operations, has joined Croydon FC in a media advisory role
Snow said: “At the FA my job was to promote the development of grassroots football. Now I get the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and do it for real.”
- SJA British Sports Awards sponsored by the National Lottery 2017 details
- The SJA is the largest member organisation of sports media professionals in the world. Join us: Click here for more details