The 2014 Northwest Football Awards is now officially open for business with a new naming rights partner –MBNA-and a promise to help Manchester become England’s first ‘city of football.’
The great and the good of the Northwest football community came together last night (Wednesday) at a star spangled Awards launch party, hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live presenter, Phil Williams, at the Lawn Club in Manchester’s Spinningfields district.
Guests included former Bolton and England Under 21 midfielder, Fabrice Muamba, Preston born, ex Republic of Ireland international, Kevin Kilbane, Manchester City legend, Dennis Tueart, Oldham Athletic and City old boy, Earl Barrett plus ex Blues boss and Northwest football stalwart, Brian Horton.
Other organisations represented were: the Football Association, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the Football Foundation, the League Managers’ Association, ‘She Kicks’, Mob Sport and the University College of Football Business.
All are excited by the advent of a new football season, including this weekend’s 2014-15 Premier League kick-off, as well as the MBNA Northwest Football Awards on November 18 at Lancashire County Cricket Club’s Point Conference Centre.
So too is Michael Donald, Chief Commercial Officer and Customer Experience Executive for MBNA, whose Chester based organisation were confirmed as naming rights partner.
“Given our long history of Co-Brand Credit Card partnerships with Northwest and National-based football clubs, sponsorship of this event is a natural fit for both parties,” said Mr Donald.
“During the last 21 years, MBNA has collaborated with key affinity partners to build a strong portfolio of co-branded credit cards, which include National and Northwest based football clubs from across the leagues, notably Manchester United FC, Liverpool FC and Bolton Wanderers.
“In addition MBNA invests in the Northwest Sports community through their sponsorships and association with Chester FC, Sale Sharks and Chester Racecourse.
“MBNA truly believes in the benefits of connecting business with sports fans, and is proud to be involved in recognising the Northwest’s elite talent within the world of football.”
The speeches, the net-working, the latest footie gossip were all captured by the cameras of Mob Sport, a division of the Mob Film Company, who have agreed a three-year deal to cover the MBNA Northwest Football Awards.
Laura Wolfe, managing director of NWFA and Journey9, used her welcome speech to thank all new and existing partners while also urging guests and the wider football community to support Manchester-home of the Premier League champions-to secure the title of ‘City of Football.’
She said:”The title ‘City of Football’ will be awarded by Sport England, with the winner receiving £1.6m in National Lottery funding to run a two-year pilot programme aimed at getting more people – particularly those aged 14-25 years – playing all forms of the game.
“Manchester is now vying against Nottingham and Portsmouth for the title, after a shortlist was drawn up from the 22 cities who originally applied.
“Developing the bid is the newly formed Manchester Football Consortium, led by Manchester City Council, of which Journey9 and the Northwest Football Awards is part. The consortium is currently developing a vision and football strategy that will seek to transform the grass roots game in Manchester.”
The winning city will be announced at the end of September and support is #BackOurBid via Twitter @Manchester_COF
Details of how fans can also vote for key honours at the MBNA Northwest Football Awards will be announced shortly.