PL Says ‘No’ to Charity Initiative Involving Away Kits on Boxing Day

An idea to raise awareness on the issue of homelessness in the United Kingdom has apparently been shot down by the Premier League.

Sky Sports reports that the league has turned down a proposal from Shelter, a charity that advocates on behalf of homeless people in the U.K., to have Premier League clubs wear their away kits at home for games on Boxing Day.

Unused home kits would then be autographed by players and auctioned off to raise funds for Shelter.

Sky Sports says that the charity made a detailed presentation to the nine clubs that play at home on Dec. 26, but ultimately the Premier League put a kibosh on the plan.

“The Premier League receives a large number of requests from charities every season however we aren’t able to support all centrally. Clubs are entitled to support charitable causes, and we encourage clubs to do so, provided it is in compliance with Premier League rules.”

— Premier League spokesperson’s statement to Sky Sports

The Daily Mail adds that Premier League rules state that “the first priority for home clubs will be their home strip.”

PL clubs scheduled to play at home on Boxing Day include:

  • Liverpool
  • Wolverhampton
  • Burnley
  • Manchester City
  • Norwich City
  • Tottenham Hotspur
  • West Ham United
  • Aston Villa
  • Brighton & Hove Albion

Newcastle United hosts Manchester United on Dec. 27 to round out that particular gameweek.

According to the BBC, Shelter estimates that 180,000 households in the U.K. have lost their homes during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its dedicated help line has also given advice to more than 22,600 households over the course of the last two years.

Photo courtesy @Shelter / Twitter

While the Premier League isn’t supporting the campaign, it seems lower tiers of English football are on board. The Daily Mail reports that the English Football League — which oversees the levels of the English football pyramid below the Premier League — “have not raised any objections” to the campaign or to clubs wishing to participate. Visiting clubs would wear either their home kit or a third kit.

“We believe ‘home’ means everything,” said Shelter director of campaigns Osama Bhutta in a press release. “We want to use the positive power of football this Christmas, and our shared connection to ‘home’, to raise awareness of homelessness and what we can all do to fight it.”

Despite the Premier League’s ruling on the kits, individual clubs are reportedly exploring ways they can support Shelter and get the word out about homelessness in the U.K.