Re-direct fines to become much needed funds for anti-racism work, campaign says
Big names from across English football have endorsed calls from Show Racism The Red Card (SRtRC) for FA fines in racist cases to be given to anti-racism campaigns.
SRtRC has called for all fines in cases of racist abuse, for example the recent cases of John Terry and Luis Suarez, to be split 50-50 between its campaign and Kick It Out (KIO).
Chris Powell, Charlton’s Manager said: “This is a great idea - football is a very powerful vehicle for combating racism. It's the duty of everyone in the football family to help support the fight against racism in the game and society at large. The FA should definitely make this happen.”
Those who have already backed the call include Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, former-England manager Graham Taylor, Robbie Keane, former-England defender Sol Campbell, former-Charlton player Jason Euell, Wolves midfielder Karl Henry, Aberdeen manager Craig Brown, former-Sunderland player Kevin Ball, Aston Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor, former-England and Liverpool legend John Barnes, Sky Sports's Chris Kamara, former-Newcastle forward David Kelly, former-full back John Beresford and former-Barnsley manager John Hendrie.
Former-England and Liverpool player John Barnes said: “I fully support FA fines being used in a positive campaign of anti-racism education by Show Racism the Red Card and KIO.
“Whilst there has been a big improvement in racism in football over the last 20 years, we still have a long way to go in society. Racism is society's problem, not just football's.”
As well as outside support, all of SRtRC's ex-professionals who now work for the campaign support the proposals – among them are honorary president Shaka Hislop, Matt Murray, Olivier Bernard, Luther Blissett, Dave Bennett, Anwar Uddin, Paul Mortimer, Leroy Rosenior and Gary Bennett.
SRtRC has estimated that fines collected in the last year in cases of racism amount to £320,000 – an amount that would represent a major boost to anti-racism education work.
Grants to the campaign from the Premier League / PFA Community fund will end in 2012, together with grants from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the campaign has written to David Bernstein, Chairman of the FA, asking for new for the campaign support via collected fines.
Chief executive of SRTRC Ged Grebby said: “With the exception of the PFA, we don't have any planed income from footballing authorities for 2013.
“Whilst we receive great support in kind from the football clubs, ultimately to run a professional organisation you need funding.
“Show Racism the Red card as a campaign have 24 ex-professional players working for us and they are great role models for combating racism in society.
“The funding from fines is not 'planned income' for the FA and it should be used to fund anti-racism and it should be used to challenge and change racist attitudes.”