Manchester City are seemingly gunning for the ‘pink pound’ with a new initiative to encourage homosexuals to watch the footy in North Manchester. The club has paid a four-figure sum to join the Diversity Champions scheme, run by gay rights group Stonewall. It is the first professional club to join the scheme, which focuses on a range of gay-friendly initiatives.
The club said it wanted to send a welcoming message to gay, lesbian and bisexual supporters, be inclusive and be a progressive
Stonewall’s chief executive, Ben Summerskill said: "The work can range from looking at
recruitment processes to what’s already going on in the workplace, to
developing marketing strategies. It is mainly about Manchester City wanting to be an exemplary employer."
Mr Summerskill said he believed that a more gay-friendly
environment would attract more straight fans, as well as homosexuals,
because families were more likely to attend an atmosphere free from
He added: "If we help to get the club more supporters,
more money and better staff, then they will have better training,
better facilities, and it is all part of a virtuous circle of success."
The move does beg the question about gay people and their involvement in football. I for one always thought that if a gay person wanted to watch the footy, they’d go anyway, regardless of any initiative. Or am I being naive? With City aiming to attract the gay community into the Bell End (sorry, I really couldn’t resist), it does mark the first real effort from any club to ‘include’ those who may feel chastised away from the sport. Is it only a matter of time before other clubs join in?