THE two main football clubs in Manchester have agreed to donate a percentage of ticket sales towards the refugee crisis unfolding on the continent.
Manchester United and Manchester City will donate one euro from every ticket sold for Champions League matches to help migrants settle as they arrive in Europe from war-torn countries.
Fellow English clubs Chelsea and Arsenal have also signed up while Portuguese outfit FC Porto have written to governing body Uefa to share a proportion of their ticket revenue whilst urging others to do the same.
The proceeds will assist thousands of asylum seekers, including many women and children, have been left homeless in their attempts to flee countries locked in civil war – mainly Syria.
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that Britain will fulfil their quota with around 20,000 refugees arriving in Britain over the next five years.
In a letter to Uefa president Michel Platini, Porto said it was ‘impossible to close our eyes to the drama of the migrants and refugees that are trying to enter in the European soil’.
— FC Porto (@FCPorto) September 4, 2015
The Champions League group stages begin next week with 32 sides involved in the competition – and they encourage the others to ‘put their efforts together’ by making the donation for the first two matchdays.
Having confirmed they will follow suit for their home match against Chelsea on September 29, the letter concluded with the message: ‘Let’s play for the migrants!’
The proposal was put forward on behalf of the English clubs by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis and has been accepted by Karl-Heinze Rummenigge, chairman of the European Club Association.
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04) September 9, 2015
German club Schalke have also confirmed their participation in the initiative which is designed to help ease the crisis which is currently engulfing Europe at an alarming rate.
Meanwhile, non-league side FC United of Manchester have organised fundraising activities at their National League North match against Corby Town on Saturday.
FC United supporters to highlight refugees' plight with collection of items at Corby Town game this Saturday. http://t.co/XWftzgygbo
— FC United of Manchester (@FCUnitedMcr) September 8, 2015
Supporters have been asked to bring along food supplies and other essentials from home to the game at Broadhurst Park which will be passed on to the charity Refugee Action while there will be collection buckets for cash donations to be made.
A social media campaign has also taken place in recent weeks with people asked to post pictures holding placards reading ‘Refugees Welcome’ to show their support for those affected.
City begin their European campaign against Juventus at the Etihad Stadium next Tuesday, September 15, while United face Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven away from home on the same night.