Since the club’s foundation launch in 2012 Arsenal have committed over £1.5 million (around €2M) to their charity partners and projects through donations and fundraising initiatives.
One of the beneficiares of these has been the Freedom From Torture programme, which brings together survivors of torture who have sought asylum in the UK for football training and English language workshops, using football as a tool to improve participants’ physical and mental wellbeing.
Also in 2012, the North London club opened a football pitch for Syrian children in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan in collaboration with the charity Save the Children. Arsenal in the Community ambassador, Martin Keown, visited the camp and the work carried put by humanitarian organisations on the ground.
In addition, throughout the year the club dedicates fundraising initiatives to the cause including a match day in which players donate a day’s wages.
More recently, the club has been focused its efforts on developing two new football pitches in Iraq refugee camps, where 100 boxes of Arsenal kits were distributed among children.
At home and international matches Arsenal have engaged in solidarity actions, donating £1 and €1 per ticket sold of the Premier League match against Stoke City on 10 September and the UEFA Champions League game against Olympiacos on 29 September, respectively.
Ahead of the match against Stoke, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger told Arsenal.com: “The need is immediate so we decided to be immediately helpful,”
“It’s an exceptional circumstance and I’m very happy that our club contributes to help refugees to settle in countries where they come without anything. We’ll give £1 for every ticket sold [against Stoke] and if everyone can contribute like we do then I think we can give very, very strong help.”
On the day, Gunners supporters also showed their solitary side by unfurling a ‘Welcome Refugees’ banner as part of a planned ‘national day of action’, organised by Refugees EFL, that aimed to inspire football supporters to show their solidarity with refugees.