The Bundesliga, Germany’s top professional football league, has pledged its support to Sheffield FC’s crowdfunding campaign to return to its original Olive Grove Sports Ground home in Sheffield.
League CEO Christian Seifert has confirmed the Bundesliga’s donation of £2,001 – the founding year of the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) as the Bundesliga’s governing body.
And the pledge means that the German top-flight has been added to a growing list of huge footballing names to have supported Sheffield FC’s campaign, which was set up just over two weeks ago.
The campaign has already raised almost £25,000 through donations from fans, clubs and players alike.
Among those to have supported the project are German and European footballing giants Borussia Dortmund and former Germany internationals Sebastian Kehl and Christoph Metzelder.
“Football has given me the opportunity to follow my dreams, to discover the world and to become independent at very young age,” said Metzelder, a former Dortmund and Real Madrid defender and present chairman of TuS Haltern, who have also donated their foundation year in Euros.
“For so many of us, no matter if amateur or pro, football is the greatest gift and joy of life. For this I am thankful, and for this I thank Sheffield FC and the pioneers of 1857. We need to give something back now, all of us.”
Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gündoğan has also backed the campaign, saying: “Sheffield FC deserves our support to move back home, to protect and honour the roots of our beautiful game.
“Without Sheffield FC, there would be no football.”
Other German clubs such as Rot-Weiss Essen and FC St. Pauli have also donated.
News of Sheffield’s bid to return home has travelled around the world, with media in Australia and Argentina covering the story as well as Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
The aim of the campaign is to raise £2 million to enable Sheffield, the world’s first football club, to move back to Olive Grove Sports Ground, their original home in the centre of Sheffield.
The club currently plays at the Coach and Horses Ground in the Derbyshire village of Dronfield.
The club has set an initial target of £150,000 in order for preliminary work to be done, but once this threshold is passed, Sheffield will install floodlights, a new driveway and a new perimeter, as well as a main stand, dressing rooms and a club office.
Sheffield FC chairman, Richard Tims, said: “We are establishing a new spiritual home for football on its original ground, and we’re extremely grateful for the support of the Bundesliga and everyone else who has donated so far.
“As a charitable foundation, we will continue to protect and preserve the world’s first football club. Sheffield FC has played football without a permanent home and its own ground for more than 140 years.
“Now it’s time to take the club back home to Olive Grove in Sheffield to where it all began.
“We’re looking forward to working with the city, the local community and schools in developing our plans for the site. Let’s all remember, without Sheffield FC there would be no game as we know it today.
“We hope this latest pledge will provide the impetus for people and football fans across the world to back our unique fundraising campaign and, of course, visit our original home adding to Sheffield’s appeal as a destination city.”
For more information about the fundraising campaign go to Click here
For donations to the project visit http://igg.me/at/homeoffootball.