Kick It Out on pace to smash 'Season of Action' attendance record
Over 400,000 football fans have been through the turnstiles at games dedicated to Kick It Out as part of the commitment being shown by Premier League and Football League clubs towards the organisation’s ‘Season of Action.’
The season-long drive provides a greater opportunity for Kick It Out to display the work it undertakes throughout the year to promote equality and inclusion, and professional clubs play a key role in setting an example for the whole game.
A total of 411,574 fans have been able to witness pre-match activities including flag displays and players warming up in Kick It Out t-shirts, and take advantage of the distribution of badges, stickers, wristbands and magazines by club staff.
Other activity has seen tannoy announcements made about how fans can play their part in the ‘Season of Action’, used their big screens and LED advertising boards to raise awareness of the organisation’s reporting mechanisms, and dedicated space in their matchday programmes to Kick It Out.
Clubs have also contributed exclusive blogs to www.kickitout.org with Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart, Fulham defender Dan Burn and Birmingham City striker Matt Green all giving an insight into their careers and the importance of Kick It Out’s work to them.
In addition, Ipswich Town arranged a bucket collection at Portman Road, Leyton Orient and West Ham United trained in the t-shirts in the days before their game, Birmingham City and Brighton & Hove Albion and Fulham all arranged special school and community visits.
There have been 22 games dedicated to Kick It Out so far this season, with the home team taking at least a point from all but two ‘Season of Action’ games. Only Nottingham Forest and Dagenham & Redbridge have emerged with away wins.
Manchester City and Swansea City are the only two clubs that have played as the hosts and the away side for ‘Season of Action’ fixtures while Leeds United have been the visitors twice so far this campaign as they supported Kick It Out during trips to Birmingham City and Rotherham United.
A total of 42 goals have been scored, with the clash between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur seeing the most goals with five. Other stand-out matches have included Bolton Wanderers beating Brentford, Walsall defeating Chesterfield, and Burton Albion overcoming Portsmouth.
Kick It Out has received great exposure through televised matches with 10 of the 22 nominated fixtures so far gaining coverage on either Sky Sports or BT Sport. This has helped to spread the reach of organisation’s message beyond fans in the stands to those tuning in across the country.
Keeley Baptista, Professional Game Manager, said: “The great support of the clubs within the stadiums that has been shown so far this season, both on and off the field, has been fantastic. This support echoes the commitment of many clubs in tackling all forms of discrimination on a daily basis.
“Kick It Out continues to work with clubs all season long to educate, advise and support the expansion of their equality and inclusion work; through events, policy development and training.”
Rishi Jain, Football League Clubs Development Officer, added: “It is great to see clubs embrace our second ‘Season of Action’. Seeing players show their enthusiasm and professionalism for Kick It Out sends a really strong message to fans at all levels of the game.
“I am really thankful to the clubs for their support and with so many games televised, it’s great to see the broadcasters getting behind us too.”
With more than three quarters of the 92 clubs still to play their dedicated fixtures, Kick It Out is on pace to far exceed the 1.1 million fans that attended ‘Season of Action’ games during the 2013/14 season.