Tag Archives: football

FIFA – ‘Show Me the Money’

The ‘beautiful game’ is free-falling through the ugly tree and hitting every branch.

Ugly football FIFA

Global football is witnessing another slow painful eruption, but this could yet be an big extinction level event for many that has been developing, and well overdue, for decades. Football is by no means isolated as Continue reading

The Most Amazing Sport You’ve Never Seen

 

Who would like to support one of the most amazing sports that most people have never seen? Imagine a cross between ice hockey and 5-a-side football. Power, balance, passion and skills – all with metal sticks and a football. This is of course  a very overt request for partners to step forward.

The amputee footballers of England (and the wider UK) have been growing their own sport for some years now with only relatively superficial support. I’ve been away from the sport for too long and want to help these elite athletes and the grassroots programme that supports them.

Please take a few minutes to check out the photos and videos below and then get in touch via the links below…

I was always stunned by the lack of media / corporate support for such a photogenic sport that is pure adrenaline and poetry. Once during my spell in charge of the England team we had a media team courtesy of One 2 One (or T-Mobile as they were once called) follow us on a World Championship in Rio de Janeiro in 2005. This was during a short  period of strong commercial and governing body support as disability football was hitting a larger audience, but very little happened after the event was over, and then external support headed downhill for a while.

Much has changed since then. One of the biggest challenges was the quality of organisation at a global level but many, many more international teams now play, and grassroots participation is accelerating too. The players stepped up and took it over themselves, again, as it was in the start many years ago before the FA dabbled.

The England Amputee Football Association (EAFA) are looking to talk to any potential supporters, especially of the commercial kind to take amputee football to the next level at home and abroad. A huge opportunity on the horizon. Great timing and a great sport.

Who wants a piece of this?…

Here’s some more about the EAFA team and the players from an older video via The Guardian.

These guys have done a brilliant job of getting their sport to where it is now and all support can only accelerate a truly special sport with a bright future. Imagine being part of the bigger team when they win the World Championship? Trust me there is no better feeling and n spectacular opportunity for all partners!

For more information head over to www.theeafa.co.uk or via Twitter at @amputeefootball, use the comment section below or even get in touch directly with me and I’ll share what I know.

And as a treat for reading this far, a special goal from the 2010 World Championship Argentina v Japan game…

Would You Sack Luis Suarez?

AngerWhat would you do if an employee bit one of your competitors?

I know this doesn’t happen often, and in most cases the answer is to show that employee the door, quickly. What if that employee was one of most talented in your industry? Should that make a difference? What if that employee also demonstrated public indicators of emotional or mental instability?

The Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC game yesterday was supposed to be a stage for a returning and much loved ex-manager and a platform to show support for a recently departed campaigner for justice following the Hillsborough disaster, but midway through the second half the next day’s headlines were decided beyond all doubt.

Why Luis Suarez sank his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic is a mystery. No real warning signs of prior animosity during the game leading to an innocuous tussle, then a bolt from the blue vampire-like thrust toward the Chelsea defender. Nobody saw it coming, but then again you wouldn’t, and the referee didn’t either.

So, what happens next? Continue reading

VfL Wolfsburg Score Football CSR Winner

It may have taken a while but VfL Wolfsburg are the winners!

VfL Wolfsburg Moving TogetherBack in October 2010 I wrote a post called Not a Premier League CSR Report about the state of non-financial reporting in football, especially in the UK. At the end of the post I urged / hoped / challenged / pleaded with the industry to step up to the penalty spot by producing a credible report. VfL Wolfsburg have scored first.

The post was spurred at the time by a couple of so-called CSR reports by Manchester City and Aston Villa (and an earlier attempt by Chelsea). Manchester City’s in particular was much more of an interactive animation experiment by a communications team than a genuine report with little credible detail.

The German based team playing in the Bundesliga recently kicked out their ‘Moving Together’ sustainability report, and it was GRI certified (Level B)! I should also point out that a couple of other teams (SC Corinthians Paulista and Djurgarden Fotboll)  have also produced GRI based reports, but neither of these was certified externally.

I applaud all three teams for taking what was a bold step, and especially Wolfsburg for going into extra time and opting for external verification. In an industry dominated by a culture of defensiveness (no pun intended this time) it was a brave decision to be a pioneer for openness. I wonder if Wolfsburg’s approach is linked to their parent organisation Volkswagen?

Congratulations to all involved at Wolfsburg, and very worthy recommendations to SC Corinthians Paulista and Djurgarden Fotboll.

Now, who will be the first to score an ‘A’ rating from GRI?

What Do Premier League Football And Apple Have In Common?

New report says UK football CSR is maturing but needs to train harder and play as a team.

The defences are well and truly warmed up at Cupertino at the moment ahead of the iPhone 5 launch event next week but Daniel Agger isn’t part of the team.

Both brands have an almost religious like appeal to their audiences. Huge queues for product, tattoos and media saturation are just a couple of examples of the more obvious cultural similarities.

Both brands also have long journeys ahead of them on the CSR road and neither showing signs of ticking the leadership box any time soon.

I’ve just finished reading “It’s Not Just A Game: Community Work In The UK Football Industry And Approaches To Corporate Social Responsibility” by Heledd Jenkins and Laura James from the ESRC Centre at BRASS.

If you are into football, sport and all things CSR / sustainability go and take a read. It’s a comprehensive, intelligent and open report that provides a useful stick in the ground for the current state of social responsibility in UK football.

In short, all the clubs deliver effective community work locally with some reaching further afield across international boundaries, many through independent Community Trust models, but fall short on embedded strategic approaches, innovation, leadership and transparency. Continue reading

What Are The Euro 2012 Sponsors Going To Do About Racism?

Tonight’s edition of  the BBC’s Panorama series was entitled “Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate” which I hadn’t planned to watch but thought it was worth 30 mins in the background.

If you didn’t manage to catch it (you can watch via BBC’s iPlayer if available where you are)  Chris Rogers, an investigative journalist, spent some time in Poland / Ukraine to see for himself the racism and anti-Semitism and to pose the question “How safe will the travelling teams and fans be at Euro 2012?”.

This is not about creating a passionate storm over a few incidents caught on camera, but those that were captured screamed (and yes I am making assumptions) warnings of a deeper societal problem. It wasn’t the fact that there were obviously minority groups acting or merely talking about violence it was the ingrained nature of the images and tolerance demonstrated by the local authorities and footballing regulators.

To see almost professionally created  murals (and no signs of attempted removal), chanting on a grand scale (crowds of at least hundreds at one  game) and stomach churning sickening and obscene physical brutality caught on camera in a relatively condensed period of research was an emotionally jarring experience. Continue reading

Football CSR Team Talk at Responsiball

This week for no reason in particular my attention has been gravitating towards football. It may well be a returning passion after recovery following eight years worth of burn out. Behind the media hype  I’m constantly on the look out for any beacons of hope in the form of CSR related developments to really begin to justify the overused ‘Power of football / sport’ cliché. One such emerging gem may well be Responsiball.

My football radar started pinging last week with Gary Speed’s sad and untimely death through what appears to a result of depression, then watching a resurgent Liverpool FC remind ex-team mate Fernando Torres what a good team is against Chelsea FC in the Carling Cup, next I saw the news break about a former Everton FC colleague, Communications Director Ian Ross, departing the club in strange circumstances, then it was a formal yet enjoyable discussion about Coethica steering a to remain unnamed Premier League Club toward a more strategic CSR path, and finally rounding things off today just in time for the Euro 2012 draw.

But the highlight of my footballing diary this week had to be the conversation with Daniel Cade at Responsiball. Continue reading