Shelter’s #NoHomeKit idea and the Premier League | Football
The Fiver has lost count of the amount of times we’ve sharpened our pencil and taken aim at the Premier League for not having rules robust enough to stop nefarious forces flooding into the English top flight. Vulture capitalists? Hello. Online betting companies? Show us the money. Blood-soaked regimes? The washing machine is right over there. So imagine our surprise when the powers that be pointed to their rulebook to make it clear what they were not willing to tolerate: teams wearing away kits at home. For charidee. Yep, well done Richard Masters and co – what a show of strength!
It stems from an approach to the Premier League by Shelter, the organisation campaigning to end homelessness in England, asking for its support for #NoHomeKit. “The idea is simple but powerful: this Boxing Day, clubs and fans ditch their home colours for their away or third kit, showing support for people who don’t have a safe home.” It’s a brilliant proposal and a cause that even our mean-spirited relatives would support. You’d think it was an open goal for an organisation up to its elbows in bad publicity after the Newcastle takeover.
But nope, here’s a faceless suit, perhaps dressed like Scrooge, with a view from their paymasters. “The Premier League receives a large number of requests from charities every season, however we aren’t able to support all centrally,” they blabbed. “Clubs are entitled to support charitable causes, and we encourage clubs to do so, provided it is in compliance with Premier League rules.” Those rules state home teams must wear home kits as their first priority. The backlash was understandably swift. “The Premier League have obviously got no heart,” roared Trevor Sinclair, while Gary Neville – who has helped house homeless people in his Manchester hotel – also took aim, damning it with comparisons to the PM. “Imagine refusing a request to raise money and awareness for homelessness,” he sighed. “A Johnson-like U-turn on its way if the clubs push hard.”
The only good to come out of the iron-hearted decision so far is that it has arguably given Shelter’s campaign more publicity in the run-up to Christmas than it would have received had the Premier League done the right thing and said yes. The Fiver’s not always the most charitable, but we’ll be getting right behind Shelter by plucking our dusty Dukla Prague away kit out of the attic and donating some of our soft-earned to a vital cause. We might even dig deep to buy Premier League suits a moral compass for Christmas. They certainly need one.
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