Date published: Friday 12th October 2018 8:17
Eric Cantona has explained his decision to join Juan Mata’s Common Goal initiative. It is a wonderful, worthwhile cause.
In his piece for The Player’s Tribune, former Manchester United striker Cantona confirmed he was joining up with current Reds midfielder Mata.
Common Goal was set up in August 2017 by Mata, who stated that the ‘long-term’ objective of the movement was to ‘unlock 1% of the entire football industry’s revenues for grassroots football charities that strengthen their communities through sport’.
A number of high-profile players have joined the Spaniard in pledging 1% of their wages to the cause, including Mats Hummels and Giorgio Chiellini.
And Cantona has now announced that he will join Common Goal in a newly-established ‘mentor’ role. He writes:
‘We are living through times of widespread poverty, war, and immigration. There are many more people in the world who can’t even afford to buy a football than there are people who can afford to pay 200 Euros to attend a Premier League match, or 400 Euros a year to watch it on TV. Football is one of life’s great teachers. It is one of life’s great inspirations. But the current business model of football ignores so much of the world.
‘Poor neighborhoods need football as much as football needs poor neighborhoods. We need to support a more sustainable, positive and inclusive football, and I will do anything that I can to help. That is why I am joining the Common Goal movement as their first mentor. Common Goal’s mission is to unlock 1% of the entire football industry’s revenues for grassroots football charities, and more than 60 footballers have already pledged 1% of their salaries. The beautiful thing is that they are players from big clubs, players from small clubs, men and women, from leagues all over the world.
‘Football should be for the people. This does not have to be a utopian idea. There is no reason why the major actors in the game today cannot come together and support the social aspect of football. All of us, whether we are rich or poor, whether we are immigrants or 10th-generation citizens, find the same simple joy in the game of football. We speak the same language. We feel the same emotion.’