Amnesty International have expressed their disappointment and surprise at teh failure of Newcastle United and 18 other Premier League club, to grasp the chance to show leadership in a response to the refugees crisis.
Whilst there are widespread initiatives that have sprung up in German football in recent days, including many financial donations and fundraising initiatives. In England, the only Premier League club to make an effort is Arsenal.
With the other 19 clubs standing back, Arsenal have pledged to give £1 for every ticket sold for the Stoke match on Saturday.
Obviously the money is a drop in the ocean but if everybody else did the same…plus just as importantly, Amnesty say that with football’s massive reach, their leadership would lead to many following their example.
Every Bundesliga club has pledged their support and the attitude in Germany is in marked contrast to England, with German international midfielder Toni Kroos encapsulating the attitude of the German people when he said:
“My attitude is that Germany, as one of the richest countries on earth, must help.”
As for the supporters, those Premier/Football League clubs with fans who have declared support for the Facebook campaign of an ‘English Football League Day of Solidarity’ by unfurling #refugeeswelcome banners are:
Villa, Newcastle United (click HERE to see article on The Mag this week), Norwich City, Charlton Athletic, Swindon Town, AFC Wimbledon and Plymouth Argyle.
The only contribution by Premier League clubs is collectively via the competitions they take part in.
In the Champions League all 80 clubs, including English ones, will donate one euro for each ticket sold from their first home matches in the competition
Whilst the Premier League have agreed to help Save the Children with before each PL match a large Save the Children text/donate flag will be displayed pre-match, whilst Premier League perimeter board advertising space will also be given over to Save the Children.
Considering the Premier League is the ‘World League’ as well, with easily the biggest TV reach around the world, it is a crying shame that more has not been done, along the lines of what the Bundesliga are doing.
Amnesty International’s Naomi Westland:
“It is great to see Arsenal taking the lead among English clubs in donating money from sales of tickets to this weekend’s game to help alleviate the refugee crisis, but a shame that it is the only club in the Premier League to do so, so far.
There is a huge opportunity here; where football leads millions will follow. As Europe faces the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War, football clubs can use their power and influence to show solidarity with people in desperate need and help make a difference, whether that’s by donating money, offering use of their facilities or with symbolic gestures like giving refugee children the chance to be a mascot.”