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It’s been a bad week for football with racism by fan(s) prominently rearing its head again. Supporters continue to take a stand against racism in the game, but sometimes even their own clubs don’t support their efforts — in a shocking and petty move, Bristol Rovers management have refused to run an anti-racism ad in the club’s matchday magazine by the club’s own supporters trust, the Gas Independent Fans’ Trust (GIFT).
Why? Because they are the “wrong organisation”, as an independent association and not the official supporters’ club. Supporters’ Direct’s blog explains that “The Trust wanted to place the ad in ‘The Pirate’, the Club’s matchday magazine, to coincide with the Kick it Out Campaign’s “One Game, One Community” weeks of action, highlighting the players of all nationalities and races who have turned out for the club, in a Rovers-style quartered design with the caption “The United Colours of Rovers”.
The trust explained on their site that “GIFT has been informed by Bristol Rovers’ Financial Director, Toni Watola, that the club is “unable to accept [the advert] in its current guise.” The reason behind this is the inclusion, in small print, of the name and contact details of GIFT, the organisation that came up with the idea and design for the advertisement and was proposing to pay for its inclusion in the programme.”
You can see the original ad and the official take on it by the trust here. I have to say I’m lost for adjectives to describe how pathetic this is by Rovers management.
- The owners of teams in Women’s Professional Soccer’s inaugural season knew they would lose money this year. Without having access to their budgets, it’s impossible to know if the reported news that the LA Sol lost $2 million is way over expectations or not, and whether this is widespread around the league and if it threatens the league’s viability for 2010. If the information in a begging letter from a Sol-affiliated team is accurate at all, there may be cause for concern: Brian Boswell, coach of the Women’s Professional Soccer League club Ajax America sent out an email asking for support, “For Ajax to play next season we need to raise a minimum of $12,000. This covers league fees, field fees, travel fees, referees fees etc. Notice no coaching fees.We were hoping this year we would get financial support from the LA SOL but its possible there will not be an LA SOL. They lost over $2 million last season and may not be around for next year. Leaving Ajax as the best women’s soccer you will be able to see locally.” Let’s hope Boswell was exaggerating in his search for an angel investor.
- 3-dimensional soccer! Who’d have thunk it. No longer do you have to lumber yourself down to your local football stadium to watch human beings kick a ball in all three dimensions — you can now do so from your local cinema. At least, that’s the case in Mexico this weekend — America’s match against Chivas de Guadalajara on Sunday will be screened in 3D at movie theatres. “You’re going to witness something that will make history,” Elias Rodriguez, general manager of Televisa operations, told a news conference. “We’re talking about three dimensions…we’re taking this new step forward in football,” said Javier Alarcon, editor of Televisa Deportes. Yes, I for one have never seen soccer in three whole dimensions!
- Stan Kroenke stayed silent at Arsenal’s AGM, as questions were raised about his takeover intentions.
- Chelsea have finally lodged their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the transfer ban imposed on them by FIFA for inducing Gael Kakuta to break his contract, and they have deliberately waited to do so in order to force a stay on the decision that would mean the ban would not apply in January’s transfer window. CAS has often upheld FIFA’s decisions in rulings like these.
The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.