Due to Covid, the traditional tours across the world for pre-season are complicated meaning Arsenal and most English clubs are having to plan friendlies closer to home.
I say complicated, clubs could still travel they just won’t have thousands of fans to play in front of.
By staying in the UK, anyone would think that warm weather training in a different climate is not crucial to preparation (like we been told for years) and that this whole-time trips to America and the Far East was a marketing exercise?
To their credit Arsenal have got together with Spurs and Chelsea to arrange fixtures which will make decent money for a worthwhile charity called Mind.
The three London clubs have agreed to a set of round robin fixtures with Arsenal hosting Chelsea at the Emirates, Chelsea and Spurs at the Bridge and the North London Derby at the Lane.
Arsenal v Chelsea: Sunday 1st August, Emirates Stadium, 15:00 KO
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur: Wednesday 4th August, Stamford Bridge, 19:45 KO
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal: Sunday 8th August, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, 14:00 KO
All three sides have agreed for their women’s team to play before the men meaning any ticket gets you 2 games in one day.
I have often felt the female game can grow rapidly if you can get them playing on the same day as the men.
Even if the majority are paying to see the men’s team, why wouldn’t you turn up early to see something that is part of the day’s entertainment?
Funds raised will be split between Mind and each club’s respective Foundations.
Mind provides advice to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
Their ethos is to ‘not give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.’
There’s a network of 125 local Mind’s across the UK that offer support including info and legal lines.
18 million people accessed information in 2019-20 from Mind, with 119,000 queries answered by the help lines.
Despite this Mind’s recent report found that almost two thirds of young people receive zero support from school regarding their mental health.
Consulting 2,870 young people, 68 percent reported being absent due to mental health.
48 were disciplined for perceived bad behaviour.
One in four staff were aware of students excluded due to mental health.
Understandably Mind have observed a rise in depression during Covid with one fifth of adults showing symptoms of the illness.
Before the Pandemic, that stat was closer to 1 in 10.
So not just do these London sides have a chance to donate a serious sum of money, this will help spread much needed awareness.
I care a lot about this issue and can only stress the need for you to talk to someone if you feel low.
Even if it’s on this platform, just talk.
Message to Spurs though – no this doesn’t count as a trophy!
Be kind in the comments