Sheffield FC has raised £25,000 towards its preliminary £150,000 target to launch work on a new ground at Olive Grove.
The world’s oldest club needs up to £6m to build the ground they believe their unique brand deserves.
They gave themselves a 60-day window to raise their initial target of £150,000 for preliminary work to be done. “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” they say.
Sheffield has strong links in Germany and the Bundesliga has pledged its support to the crowdfunding campaign and donated £2,001 – the founding year of the governing body. Among those to have supported the project are 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/Real Madrid defender.
“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 to their original base has travelled around the world, with media in Australia and Argentina covering the story as well as Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
Sheffield currently plays at the Coach and Horses Ground in Dronfield. That base could be sold.
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.”