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Fans United

Supporters of leading Turkish Clubs in Istanbul are uniting against terrorism.  Follow the #hashtag to see what activities are being undertaken and any results achieved.  Is there scope for similar in the UK? See: #Terörekarşıbirlikteyiz

Get in…….migration, refugees and football

There are certain images from Worldwide media that are ‘game changers’ or more accurately memories of life changing or major events.  This could include such as 9/11, Lady Diana’s fatal car crash, the hanging of Saddam Hussein etc.  Of lesser prominence but a momentous media coverage is the photos of Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian Kurd from Kobani, who was washed up in Bodrum, Turkey.  There are a minority of journalists or z-rated celebs that seek to make mileage out of an association with that story – but I challenge anyone to not me emotionally moved by that lasting picture of the deceased boy R.I.P.

I didn’t expect such a swift response – if one at all from the beautiful game, but here are a few anecdotes of actions.

Germany must take credit for its swift call to action and rallying behind the refugee debacle.  Bundesliga club Bayern Munich announced it will donate US$1.1M to projects supporting some of the refugees that are rapidly entering its homeland.  A Country renown for its immigrant Turkish population in wards of major cities.  I believe already Germany has more than 4 x the numbers permitted that we have realised in the UK though the Prime Minster will increase our quota shortly. Shalke and Borussia Dortmund have been swift to follow suit also. At Bayern Munich’s next home game the players will enter the pitch with a German child and a refugee child in each hand.  Emotive stuff!

Closer to home, Irish Independent Bohemians has unveilled a heart-warming mural outside Dalymount Park in the League of Ireland. It has done its bit to highlight the humanitarian crisis engulfing Europe by unveiling a mural welcoming refugees outside the Stadium (pictured here).

Supporters’ groups in England are looking to follow such example with as a minimum “Refugees Welcome” banners at matches in response to the epidemic.  Just looked on the Supporters’ Direct website and not seen any collegiate dictate but it must be on the agenda somewhere I feel?

Aston Villa and Swindon Town fans were publicized as planning awareness raising on the crisis in this weekend’s fixtures.  Holding banners seems the minimum call to action. Maybe Stockport County can link to the Britannia Hotel in Offerton which is allegedly holding asylum seekers bused up from Dover after arrivals via Calais. Free tickets, warm welcome, mascots, a meal – surely our Town can show its “Friendly Football Club” motto from previous campaigns.  At non-league grounds, Kingstonian, Dulwich Hamlet and FC United have plans a foot.

The organisers of a campaign on Facebook and Twitter (@RefugeesEFL) was founded by motivation from our German counterparts in European football.  My companies ACROBAT and FCSM has made a gesture in solidarity.  We have donated and tweeted to a Manchester Appeal for this subject. “Great idea from 🙂 We’ve made donation – we all should!”




Neil Young’s County: it was reassuring to hear the Manager at Stockport County emphasise that the Club, for once, had not been over-spending. He mentioned that his recruiting had a two year shelf life and the final budget would be comparable to last season’s. Some positive news from NYC – and that’s where it ended. We then lost 3-0 to our neighbours at Stalybridge Celtic losing two players including the goalkeeper to an over exuberant referee’s decisions in the process.

Monies and football finance will not lose prominence in editorial columns. Apparently ludicrous salaries and fee have ensnared City’s latest signing from Wolfsburg. Stories of precarious financial positions abound lower down the football pyramid. Latest focus has been on the league one down from EPL.

Apparently, Championship clubs have amassed more than £1.1Bn of debt with Bolton Wanderers heading that posse. Research, found the total debt was almost double the Division’s total cumulative turnover!

Bolton Wanderers has £182.1M, Queens Park Rangers £179.6M, Ipswich Town £82.4M, Cardiff City £81.1M and Hull City £64.8M. Only Preston North End appears to balance the books – though some write off of creditors appears to have happened in latest accounts.

Parachute payments, total £60M over a four-year period. However, from 2016-17, payments will be made over three years instead of four, while clubs who are relegated after just a single year in the Premier League will only quality for two years’ of payments.

Sustainable, I think not. Who will be the next ‘bubble’ to burst as the dream of the EPL is a mirage in the eyes of Owners.