By Tony Attwood
There is an article on the Guardian website today that begins
“It has been eight months since the inferno tore through Grenfell Tower, killing 71 people and forcing hundreds from their homes. Of that number, 152 households are still to be rehoused, despite a promise from the prime minister that the process would take no more than three weeks.”
It is a very good piece, which naturally has a focus on QPR as the club most locally affected by the disaster, and reading it sent me back to the articles that appeared after the fire dated 23 June last year which said that, “Proceeds from the Community Shield match at Wembley will be donated to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. The Football Association hopes to raise around £1.25m for the victims and their families.”
There is also a quote within that article that says that the FA chairman, Greg Clarke, said: “Like the rest of the country, we were all deeply saddened by the terrible incident at Grenfell Tower. The suffering and loss for those involved is unimaginable.
“Whilst only a football match, we hope that in some small way through the Community Shield we can help. Two great London clubs will come together to play at the city’s most famous stadium just a few miles from Kensington. They will be united in their passion for football, grief at this tragic loss and support for their community.
“Football is for all, and we hope that on 6 August it can in its own way give something back to those who are most in need.”
It continued, “The FA Cup winners Arsenal and Premier League champions Chelsea have donated their club match fee to the Grenfell Tower support fund.
“Any fans attending will have the opportunity to donate an additional £5 to the fund, should they wish, when purchasing a ticket via the clubs.”
I have never suggested that the money was misused or went astray, rather all I have done is ask, several times, how much money was raised and where it went. As a person with a strong interest in Arsenal, and a regular at matches, I would just like to know.
If the information is available and I have stupidly missed it, then fine someone can point out the location of the information, call me a total plonker for not seeing it, and I can then publicise that here. All done and dusted.
Indeed I think the raising of money for the victims is something that Arsenal and Chelsea, and all supporters of the clubs, can be proud of – an immediate coming together to do something. We couldn’t bring back those who were lost and we don’t have the power to re-house those who lost their homes, but we could do just a little.
So it is not too much to ask the FA what was achieved, where the money went and when. No suggestion of any wrong doing, just a simple request. And one that is important. After all, the government’s promise of everyone being re-housed in three weeks was mere propaganda of the most sickening kind – cashing in on grief in an attempt to show that the government were up to the task when of course they were not.
And quite simply I don’t want my little donation and the donation of the club I support to be mired with the same brush as the government has used.
Quite why I can’t find the answer on the FA’s website or the Arsenal website I don’t know. Maybe it is there and in my usual ham-fisted way I can’t find it. Maybe I’m just not very good at looking.
But I would like to know. I’ve written to the FA to ask but not had a reply. If you know how much was raised and where exactly it went, and when it went there, please do write in and we can publicise it, since the information seems hard to find.
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