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Fans donate thousands to country’s foodbanks in PPV protest

Thousands of fans donated money to their local foodbanks this weekend instead of paying for access to see their teams play over the Premier League’s opening pay-per-view weekend.

Foodbanks in the north east and north west reported record donations to their crowdfunder pages this weekend as fans looked to donate their potential £14.95 spend on Premier League pay-per-view fixtures to good causes instead.

The NUFC Fans Foodbank initiative raised more than £20,000. John McCorry, the chief executive of Newcastle’s West End foodbank, said: “We so appreciate the generosity of the Newcastle fans.

“We are feeding 1,000 people a week and use 10-plus tonnes of food every month, which costs £1,700 a tonne, so these donations are really needed.

“We have had donations from London, Spain and America, so it’s not just locally that the interest has gathered. It really seems to have taken off.”

In Manchester, there was also a surge in donations to the MUFC + MCFC Fans Supporting Foodbanks crowdfunder – which has now almost hit £24,000. While Burnley fans flooded the Community Kitchen run in partnership with Burnley FC in the Community – their crowdfunding page also passed £26,000 over the weekend.

 

Supporter groups on Merseyside have been encouraging fans to donate to the Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative there instead of spending their money on the Premier League’s pay-per-view broadcast partners, BT Sport and Sky Sports.

“It is unacceptable,” Spirit of Shankly, who work in partnership with Everton’s Blue Union, said. “They have to re-think a much-reduced, affordable cost, if there has to be a charge at all.

“Fans Supporting Foodbanks have worked tirelessly during lockdown and restrictions, a task made harder by the loss of matchday collections aligned with the growth in demand – this has increased 130% in the five years they have been going.

“We are asking that those fans who support our boycott of PPV make a donation, whatever is affordable, to Fans Supporting Foodbanks.”

In London, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) have highlighted the option fans have of donating their pay-per-view fee to the Tottenham Foodbank ahead of their fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday 1st November.

THST said: “We are talking to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the Premier League and Sky Sports, lobbying alongside our colleagues in the Football Supporters’ Association for a fairer deal for fans.

“If nothing changes, we’ll be publicising the option of donating the £14.95 PPV fee to Tottenham Foodbank.”

BT Sport and Sky Sports refused to release any information about how many people had paid to watch pay-per-view games over the weekend.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe