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Posts from the ‘Fans’ Category

Folau Folly

Folly according to the dictionary means:

“lack of good sense; foolishness”.

“an act of sheer folly”.

One might argue that the recent catalogue of events, mirrors this definition, when considering the case of an ex-Australian rugby player, who was banned for explitives against gay people, under the disguise of a so-called commitment to Christian values.

We write about it here, because of the apparent lack of tolerance to sexual orientation, but also as it has now entered the funding arena and is a topic of debate – a discipline in which ACROBAT FCSM is well versed, so here’s one opinion.

By way of background, a respected funding platform – in fact crowdfunding site – called GoFundMe, exerted its own censorship, when it barred controversial rugby player Israel Folau from using its platform to raise monies towards his legal fees.

One might argue, as we do on our own crowd funding platform – Crowd Scrum – that the prerequired moderation should have deterred the application before its launch. This rather than an u-turn based on a clamour of protests.

Should an appeal to raise legal funds to back an ‘accused’ be allowed? Of course, there should be some place for anyone to turn to if they seek to secure a groundswell of support over a campaign or matter, in their corner (as long as legal!). The reason given by GoFundMe was it breached its’inclusivity’ code, hence the expelling. We wouldn’t have contemplated for one second any backing of this cause – nor indeed normally any appeal with religious ‘blinkers’ or overt undertones.

However, there appears light at the end of the tunnel for Israel, in that a platform that shares his religious beliefs, has facilitated the new, fundraising appeal and indeed become major donor to give the campaign a ‘kick start’.

The player has sought to raise AU$3 million ($2.08 million; €1.83 million) to appeal against Rugby Australia’s decision to sack him for making homophobic comments on his social media.

GoFundMe had collected AU$760,000 (but refunded these pledges to donors and never remitted therefore to Folau). Now, the Australia Christian Lobby (ACL) has since took three days to collect AU$ 2 million and rising.

What’s your take. As a thought provoker, we recite the quote:

“Religion leaves no room for human complexity”.

Daniel Radcliffe

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Fred’s Done It

Super League and Betfred have today announced the biggest commercial deal in the history of the competition by extending their partnership for a further two seasons. 

The multi-million-pound investment by Betfred, owned by Rugby League fan and Salfordian Fred Done, will see the current three-year partnership extended until the end of the 2021 season.

News of the record-breaking deal comes at a time when Betfred Super League is enjoying huge popularity. Last weekend saw the record attendance for a Super League fixture broken when 31,555 people saw the Catalans Dragons defeat Wigan Warriors in a historic first ever Rugby League game at the iconic Nou Camp in Barcelona. This followed a record-breaking aggregate round attendance over the Easter Weekend, when 78,917 fans attended Super League Round 11 fixtures.

Since the Betfred title sponsorship began at the start of the 2017 season, there have been some memorable moments in the competition. The 2017 season saw the Wigan Warriors beat the Cronulla Sharks in the World Club Challenge, Castleford Tigers overcome St Helens in golden point drama to reach the Grand Final, which saw Leeds Rhinos crowned Champions. The 2018 season saw Shaun Wane bow out of his reign as Head Coach of Wigan Warriors with a Grand Final victory at Old Trafford, overcoming Warrington Wolves, who had beaten favourites St Helens in a semi-final.

Robert Elstone, Chief Executive Super League, said, “We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Betfred who have become synonymous with Super League. They have been a vital part of our journey over the last three years and we look forward to working with them in what is a hugely exciting time for Super League and the sport. To have the support of someone like Fred who is so passionate about Super League and who shares our vision for its future is fantastic.”

Rhodri Jones, Chief Commercial Officer Super League said, “This is a historic and ground-breaking deal for the sport and shows a huge commitment from Fred, his senior management team, and all his staff who are so passionate about Super League. It is a significant increase on previous sponsorships and reflects the growing popularity and value of the Super League brand.”

Fred Done, the Boss of Betfred, added, “The real passion for this game shown by the players, the media and, most importantly, the fans, is for me the main reason why this has proved to be such a great sponsorship for us. Therefore, I had no hesitation in extending the deal for a further two years and Betfred look forward to working with Super League to help grow the terrific game of rugby league.”

The announcement follows recent title sponsorship deals between Betfred and other major sports competition brands including the British Masters Golf, World Snooker Championship and the World Matchplay Darts in Blackpool.

Interested in getting involved in this sport and its success stories: contact for informal chat on opportunities. adrian.stores@salfordreddevils.net

Bakuthenet

“Back of the net” one might shout, if either a Chelsea or Arsenal supporter, with delight on securing an Europa League Final ticket. Well, there’s little surprise that this is no mean feat.
The wisdom of UEFA sending our fans ‘off the beaten track’ to Baku shows once again the interests of loyal supporters are right at the back of the queue. Each of these English Clubs get a mere 6,000 allocation.
Well atleast due diligence must have been done on the suitability of Azerbaijan to host such a flagship event? Think again! The BBC website announces: “The most direct route to drive from London to the Baku Olympic Stadium passes through a closed border crossing and an area of eastern Ukraine in which Russian-backed rebels are confronting Ukrainian troops along a mainly static frontline. To avoid those issues, one option is to travel via Istanbul, as with this route, a journey estimated to take 59 hours of driving time”. Appealing, eh?
There is a 68,700 capacity in the Olympic Stadium in Baku. Surely the excessive UEFA/FIFA entourage could have taken less to allow the hard pressed fans of each team to follow their respective clubs. 6,000 each is pitiful – especiaslly having gone through war trodden zones in the name of loyal support.
To top.it all: “Arsenal and Chelsea fans face an arduous 2,500 mile journey to watch the two London teams battle it out for the Europa League title in Baku.” Estimated costs per person for a two-day trip are £1,400.
Whoever said the fans come first?

Argentine Sala

I didn’t even know him, but there’s something in the air about this tragedy that resonates with all football fans – and the public at large.
“Emiliano Raúl Sala Taffarel is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and is contracted to Premier League side Cardiff City. ” So is the introduction on Wikipedia. However, the lost soul increasingly looking as deceased in a plane crash might have been contracted – but is destined never to play for the ‘blue birds’.
I look with strain at the distraught Father – then Sister – on news reporting. He seemed to be an honest, hard working lad who was adored by fans and team mates alike. Any loss of life is sad. Having my own Son, makes me contemplate with horror how my life would be ruined if ever he were never to return.
Probably we will not hear the last of this.  Allegations and rumours abound – the pilots proficiency, the air worthiness of the plane, weather conditions, mode of transport, insurance of player etc. Somebody may be culpable to add some explanation and recourse, but this is not the time for admonishment. Emiliano Sala RIP.