By Sam Smith
Crystal Palace Football Club supporters have raised more than £4,000 for the Norwood & Brixton food bank in a campaign to boycott the Premier League’s controversial pay-per-view scheme.
Urged by the supporters’ group the Holmesdale Fanatics, fans donated to the food bank instead of paying £14.95 to watch the Eagles’ Premier League game against Fulham on Saturday.
The pay-per-view scheme was introduced by the Premier League at the start of October, and allows fans to pay to watch matches that are not selected for broadcast by Sky Sports, BT sport or the BBC.
Before its introduction, all Premier League games played since the ban on fans inside stadia had been shown live without supporters having to pay extra on top of their subscriptions to Sky and BT.
On October 20, the Fanatics tweeted: “£15 for Palace-Fulham is a disgrace. This year Palace support has raised £1000s for local food banks, let’s continue that great work.
“Boycott Saturday’s PPV and support our community instead. Let’s play our part alongside supporters across the country.”
Palace fans were told to text ‘dinner £5’ to 70085. A banner in the club’s Holmesdale Road stand with the same information has also been present since elite football returned following lockdown.
Fans of other Premier League clubs have also devised similar campaigns.
The total raised by Palace supporters so far is more than £4,000, allowing the food bank to buy more food and to create food parcels for those most in need in the South London area.
Around 17,000 South Londoners – including 7,000 children – have relied on food parcels from the food bank while lockdown measures continue during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Elizabeth Maytom, Project Lead at Norwood & Brixton food bank, said: “I am so grateful to the Fanatics and all supporters who have stepped up to the mark and just helped us so very much at this difficult time.
“The support from the Fanatics has been amazing. The first I had heard of their campaign was midway through last week. I saw on Twitter that they were urging people to raise money for us.
“But it has not been the only time they have helped us, they also did things over the Christmas period and raised lots of money then. They are able to reach so many people and it really helps us.”
Micky Grafton, from the Holmesdale Fanatics, said: “Throughout the pandemic, the Palace fan base has raised thousands for local people through the food bank appeal and helped those most in need in these difficult times.
“We are a proud, deep-rooted community club and the support always comes together when it’s needed the most.”
It is unclear how many paid the £14.95 to watch the Eagles beat London rivals Fulham 2-1 on Saturday as the Premier League say the figures are “commercially sensitive”. Palace’s fixture away at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday is also behind the paywall.
You can donate money to Norwood and Brixton food bank here.
- The Millwall Community Trust and Millwall Supporters’ Club have united to provide 100 hot meals per day for children this October half-term. The project will build on the summer programme, in which the Lions and its Community Trust provided 5,000 meals over the school holidays for children and their families.
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