Shelter’s #NoHomeKit idea and the Premier League | Soccer


GETTING SHIRTY

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.”

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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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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Paris Saint-Germain condemns in the strongest possible terms the violence committed. The club has taken all necessary measures to guarantee the health, well-being and safety of its entire women’s team. Paris Saint-Germain is working with the Versailles police to clarify the facts” – the French club respond after women’s midfielder Aminata Diallo was taken into custody following an alleged attack on teammate Kheira Hamraoui last week.

Aminata Diallo before PSG’s game against Real Madrid on Tuesday.
Aminata Diallo before PSG’s game against Real Madrid on Tuesday. Photograph: Johannes Simon – UEFA/UEFA/Getty Images

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NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

The former commentator and broadcaster Gerald Sinstadt has died aged 91.

Clubs and governing bodies signed up to the FA’s leadership diversity code have collectively failed to hit any of the recruitment targets set related to women.

Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards will ride off into the sunset at the end of the season, with Julian Ward replacing him.

Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has shelled out for a 27% stake in West Ham to become the club’s second-largest shareholder. “I greatly appreciate and respect the exceptional history and tradition of West Ham you Irrrronnnns,” he cheered.

Possibly Photoshopped, earlier.
Possibly Photoshopped, earlier. Photograph: Rex Shutterstock/Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Emile Smith Rowe reckons a groundbreaking new diet – and an in-house chef – is the reason for the form that has earned him an England call. “I’ve tried to cut out chocolate and takeaways as much as I can,” he sighed. “Chris comes to my house every day. I live with my mum and she normally cooks but she doesn’t have to any more.”

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes is delighted that Maren Mjelde is back from knack after her return in the 7-0 Women’s Big Cup win at Servette. “She’s a Rolls-Royce of a footballer,” tooted Hayes.

And Bayern Munich fans will step up their attempts to force the club to cut its ties with Qatar by presenting a motion at the club’s upcoming AGM. “Instead of bringing about changes, Bayern is actively helping the Emirate of Qatar through sponsorship to distract attention from the grievances,” said Michael Ott, the motion’s initiator. “If Bayern remains silent on the situation in Qatar, our club is expressing its indifference. With this, Bayern is damaging its reputation and not living up to its responsibilities as a role model.”

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Possibly not Photoshopped, earlier. Photograph: Gonzalo Arroyo/Uefa/Getty Images

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