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The European Super League - teaching children about diversity in sport.

The European Super League - teaching children about diversity in sport.

Diversity in sport

 

What is the European Super League? Why was there a need for a Super League? What does this mean for grassroots sport? In this article we look in more detail about recent events in the football arena and why it’s more important now than ever to teach children about equality and diversity in sport and in everyday life.

Contents:

  • What is the European Super League?
  • The disbanding of the European Super League
  • Teaching children the importance of diversity
  • How to promote equality and diversity in sport

 

What is the European Super League?

On 18th April, 12 of Europe's leading football clubs (including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham) announced plans to establish a new midweek competition called the European Super League. The European Super League was to be governed by its 'Founding Clubs' and was to rival the UEFA Champions League.

So, what’s so bad about a new elite league you might ask? The big question is ‘Why did football bosses from 12 of Europe’s most renowned clubs want a new super league anyway?’

MONEY is the answer. The founding clubs have said that the global pandemic has “accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model.” However, Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol says this has come about now for one reason, and one reason only:

if you look at the finances, a club like Man Utd playing in the Champions League, they make between £40m and £80m on a good year if they win it.

If they play in this new competition, they get a cheque for £250m-£300m to begin with, then in the future they will get three times as much money a season as they get from the Champions League.

With money and greed being at the heart of the ‘big-six’s decision to betray the Premier League, it’s no wonder that fans protested against the idea following the announcement.

 

The disbanding of the European Super League

 The European super league

 

 Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images

Following on from the announcement on 18th April, the news and media sites were saturated with conflicting thoughts about a new European Super League. Some said a bigger, more diverse European Super League could help enrich football. But for the most part it attracted immense criticism from the fanbases of the six Premier League clubs.

In a record three days; the European Super League was disbanded. Here is a timeline of events as they happened:

Sunday 18th April

The Big Six announce, in a joint statement, they are to join a new European Super League along with AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid, with a further three clubs to join ahead of the inaugural season.

Monday 19th April

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin says players who represent clubs in the breakaway competition will be banned from international competitions. He describes the leading orchestrators as “greedy”.

Tuesday 20th April

A large group of fans gathers outside Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge before their match against Brighton to protest their club’s involvement in the league. Their banners featured slogans such as “Roman [Abramovich] do the right thing” and “We want our cold nights in Stoke”.

Manchester United confirmed Woodward will step down from his role at the end of 2021.

Manchester City confirm their intention to pull out of the proposed European Super League.

United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs announce the end of their involvement. The two London clubs apologise and express regret for fans’ anxiety.

Wednesday 21st April

Chelsea officially followed suit, declaring their participation would “not be in the best interests of the club, our supporters or the wider football community”.

The European Super League releases a statement announcing it is considering “appropriate steps to reshape the project” in the wake of English departures.

Atletico Madrid pull out, before Inter Milan and AC Milan follow suit.

Juventus say there are “limited possibilities” for the league to proceed in its original format, without explicitly confirming they would withdraw.

Conclusion...

Five senior officials from clubs involved in the breakaway European Super League have since stood down from their roles within the Premier League.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has departed from the league's Audit and Remuneration Committee.

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Liverpool chairman Tom Werner have both stood down from its Club Broadcast Advisory Group.

Arsenal and Manchester City's chief executive officers Vinai Venkatesham and Ferran Soriano have both left the Club Strategic Advisory Group (CSAG).

Executives from the ‘super-six’ tried to apologise for their behaviour during last week’s Premier League games but their attempts were not well received. One chief executive said "The trust has gone completely. We will never forget what they tried to do. They are all running around now telling everyone they had nothing to do with it."

The European Super League has been disbanded but some say the repercussions of this elitist tactic will be felt for years to come. Counterparts at the 14 clubs not invited to join the new European Super League, have been left feeling excluded and the fans' trust has been pushed a step too far.

Teaching children the importance of diversity

 Teaching children about diversity

 

In an ideal world, our children would grow up free from bias and discrimination. But the reality is that we live in a world in which inequality and comparison continue to affect us. Discrimination hurts and leaves scars that can last a lifetime, affecting goals, ambitions, life choices, and feelings of self-worth.

We want children to feel loved and secure and never to experience the pain of rejection or exclusion. So, how can we best prepare children to meet the challenges and reap the benefits of the increasingly diverse world they live in?

A leader in publishing and education for nearly 100 years, Scholastic says:
Building positive identities and a respect for differences means weaving diversity into the fabric of children's everyday lives.”

We can raise children to celebrate and value diversity rather than use it as a tool for exclusion. Teaching children to be proud of themselves and their family traditions as well as others values, even if they differ from our own. We can highlight the fact that there is not ‘one voice’ but rather millions, who all deserve to be heard. We can teach children to respect and value people regardless of the color of their skin, their physical abilities, or the language they speak.

How to promote equality and diversity in sport

Many children playing in grassroots football teams may be too young to understand the recent developments with the European Super League. However, now may be the ideal time to teach children the importance of equality, inclusion, and diversity in sport as well as everyday life.

Equality or inclusion is the act of making people from all backgrounds, ages and abilities feel welcome, respected and that they belong at your club. Being inclusive is about following best practice for what sport should be so that everyone can get the most out of it.

Diversity is including people with different attributes and backgrounds such as race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and religion. Does your sports club reflect the diversity of your local community? Diversity is the mix of people, inclusion is trying to get this mix to all work together in harmony.

Everyone should have an equal opportunity to be involved in whatever sport they choose, in whatever capacity they choose. Each sporting organisation should be committed to being inclusive and open to all members of the community regardless of age, gender, disability, cultural or religious background or sexual orientation, or other attributes that may lead to any person feeling excluded or isolated. This is what is called diversity in sport.

Leon Osman, former Everton footballer commented on the recent European Union League situation:

At Everton we didn’t get to play big European teams very often but what makes it special is the work you put in to get those opportunities in the Champions League or Europa League. If you’re guaranteed entry every season and there’s no sense of jeopardy, it’s going to affect your mindset and approach to games.

Read our article Just a Few Reasons Why Kids Should Play Sport

 

The Laceeze vision

 The Laceeze foundation

 

The Laceeze Foundation is a charitable initiative created by the Company Co-founders, Emma Burke and Paula Henley. As mothers, both Emma and Paula are incredibly passionate about encouraging children from underprivileged backgrounds into sport. Their vision is to “make sport accessible to all children in the UK.”

However, the sad fact is that sport isn’t always accessible to those from disadvantaged backgrounds, so the Laceeze Foundation aims to donate funds to those who would be unable to participate in their chosen activity without financial assistance.

How you can help

Emma and Paula want their revolutionary product, the Laceeze Original Bands, to solve the age old problem of laces coming undone on the pitch but assist all children who want to partake in sport to be able to access it.

No child should be denied the opportunity to participate in sport due to financial constraints. Therefore, Laceeze have pledged to donate 25p from every sale of Laceeze bands sold directly via the website to the Laceeze Foundation.

Laceeze welcomes applications for funding from anyone within the UK. This can be a request for help in finding a coach, paying for some equipment to get you started or help with subscription fees. Each application will be viewed and verified on an individual basis. To find out more about the Laceeze Foundation and how it can help you, contact them today.

What are Laceeze Bands? Designed in the UK and made from the highest quality silicon, Laceeze bands prevent laces from coming undone. They are easy to fit to any boot or training shoe in seconds. With ribbed technology to improve grip around your shoe, Laceeze bands are suitable for use on most surfaces except concrete. Explore the range for yourself today and see how Laceeze can up-level your child’s football game. 25p from the sale of every pair of bands is donated to grassroots sport via The Laceeze Foundation.

Follow Laceeze on Instagram or Facebook to stay up-to-date on all things grassroots football and be the first to hear about exciting giveaways! Remember: #dontstopthegame