The season has begun again, and I have, in recent weeks, mostly been wrangling spreadsheets and chasing up scores for the Premier League predictions league that I help to run on Twitter (shout out to the @SSPreds gang!) – there has been much to do for the new season, so please forgive my radio silence since the end of the World Cup!
However, I am now back, so we can return to important matters. Like being confused by the Nations League (don’t tell me you aren’t). Or pondering exactly when Jose Mourinho’s head is likely to explode, Scanners style (soon, at this rate). Or even catching up on all the ASRV stuff that has happened since the end of the World Cup…
First off, a really big thank you must go to Andrew Nicholas at The Meanderings of a Northern Soul, who was, rather wonderfully, inspired by ASRV to write this excellent piece about what it means to him to be a Burnley fan.
It’s a lovely, deeply personal piece about the place football and your team have in your life and in your memory, and I suspect fans of teams other than Burnley will relate to it too – I certainly did.
(On a related note, I will be catching up on other contributions promised and already sent – watch out for more on that soon, and thank you for your patience)
During the World Cup, I introduced you to the lovely Panini Cheapskates, who were racing against time to complete their World Cup album by drawing every single sticker. Well… they did it! And they raised seven and a half grand for charity, which is pretty damn good going. ASRV is officially very proud of them. If you’d like to see more of their work, they’re selling some excellent and reasonably priced prints in their shop.
Finally, I’d like to mention a new campaign that is very close to my heart as a woman and as a football fan. Although things have improved immeasurably for women in the game since I was a football-mad little girl back in the 1980s, there is still some way to go before certain elements of the game stop seeing us as something of an afterthought.
Considering that, according to Premier League statistics, something like a quarter of those attending games are women or girls, it’s about time our needs were met too. Which is why I wholeheartedly support the campaign started by three female Celtic fans to get free sanitary products available at football grounds for those who might need them, in an attempt to combat period poverty.
I was at the football at the start of the year and noticed that sanitary products are locked up in machines, sanitary bins are not in every toilet, and it just isn’t a priority for football clubs.
One of our reasons for starting the campaign was to increase the visibility of female fans, because we are second on the agenda in football grounds.
That’s not to say we’re made to feel unwelcome, but we aren’t a priority to football clubs and we’re really conscious of that.
Celtic agreed that it was a necessary change they needed to make, and that started the ball rolling. Since then, 28 clubs on both sides of the border have signed up to be part of On The Ball, including Barnsley (who appear to be doing amazing things off the pitch in important areas like this at the moment) – but not my beloved Spurs as far as I can see.
Looks like I’ll be shooting off an email to North London then….