Panel Discussion on 1% Fair Share initiative

17 November 2019

Panel Discussion on 1% Fair Share initiative

At our 13th EFDN Conference in Barcelona, we are going to host a panel discussion on the 1% Fair Share initiative. We are delighted to discuss with Greg Baker, the Head of Saints Foundation, and Yolanda Antin,  the Partnerships and Collaborations Coordinator of Barcelona Foundation about the financial contribution of players to the work of their club’s foundation. 

Players are a club’s most important asset to be successful on the pitch. But players can also make a difference off the pitch. When players go to hospitals to visit sick children or join lessons on healthy eating, prevention of racism, discrimination or bullying in schools, kids get excited and listen carefully. Players often state that they are investing their time because they want to give something back to their fans and communities. In recent years, more and more players not only contributed their time but also pledged a part of their salary to good causes all around the world. However, until know it was not easy for players to support the community activities of their current or former clubs. Supporting the community work of the club leads to a stronger bond between the players and the fans of the club and engaging with project participants has positive effects on players’ mental health.

1% may seem like a small figure, yet it stands to make a big difference.If the entire football community pledged just 1% of its collective income to the CSR activities of the clubs, leagues and FAs, we would generate a colossal 400% increase in funding for football based community programmes. By setting the minimum pledge percentage at just 1%, we also reduce financial barriers to entry and make the movement accessible and affordable for everyone.

FC Barcelona: At our host club, FC Barcelona players already financially contribute to the community work of the foundation. Since 2006, the club and its players have been donating part of their income to their Foundation. Barca players donate 0,5% of their salary to the Barca Foundation. At the same time, the club contributes to the community work by paying 0,7% of its revenue to the charity.

Saints Foundation: Saints Foundation recently celebrated Southampton FC’s star centre back, Maya Yoshida, for pledging one per cent of his salary to the club’s official charity. In doing so, the Japan international has become one of the first Premier League players to make a monthly donation to a club-related cause. Having expressed an interest in supporting young people across the city, his contribution helps Saints Foundation with projects in both primary and secondary schools as well as their work across their disability programmes. Speaking about his decision to give the charity a significant five-figure sum across the season, Yoshida explained: “I have been here for seven years now and I have got a lot from the club and from the city. Now it is time for me to give something back to them. I want to work closely with Saints Foundation to do something special for the people in this city. I know they help people that need it in the area. I want to support them as much as I can and Saints Foundation is the best way to do that.”

EFDN published a Practitioner’s Guide on the involvement of players in CSR. You can download it here.

Find the full Conference programme here.