ANTWERP FANS CAN CONTINUE THE PRE-SEASON TRADITION OF AWAY GAMES
ACT as one devises plan to counter the extra security cost
Fans of Royal Antwerp FC saw their pre-season tradition of a trip to the UK almost fall through this week. Almost, because at ACT as 1 (Antwerp Community Trust), they believe action speaks louder than words. The non-profit organisation that strives for fan participation sought and found a solution, which ensures Antwerp Fans can maintain their reputation as the best away fans across the Channel and enjoy a great away game – this time against Luton Town.
The English heritage of Royal Antwerp
The fans of ‘The Great Old’ have always been proud of the English heritage of Royal Antwerp Football Club. The club was actually founded in 1880 as the first football club on the continent by English students and experienced its last peak in ’93 as the last Belgian team to play in the European Cup Final – on the hallowed Wembley turf. The new Antwerp tradition of holding an away game over the Channel at the beginning of each season has become very popular amongst the fans, over 1100 of whom visited the friendly away game against Nottingham Forest. With their love for a friendly yet passionate football experience, they always leave a very positive impression on host cities, clubs and fans, in the stadium as well as in the streets, squares and pubs.
To Luton or not to Luton
Antwerp and Luton Town go way back: the two have already played a pair of friendlies in the past at “The Bosuil”. When it was announced two weeks ago that the opponent would be Luton Town away, many enthusiastic fans immediately booked flights, trains, coaches and hotels. However earlier last week, like a thundercloud invading clear skies, the Luton Police demanded additional security at a cost of €5000, which left the English club with no option but to cancel the match – a huge disappointment for many Antwerp Fans. But another plan soon emerged…
Tradition continues thanks to ACT as 1
ACT as 1 has absolutely no doubt that on July 26th the loyal Antwerp Fans will be supporting their club in their usual high numbers. ACT as 1 has pledged €5000 of sponsorship money, in order to meet the necessary costs – but if 1000 fans make the trip, this will be fully recovered. The official supporters organizations are working hard to organize the various trip packages to Luton.
After Bolton Wanderers, Bristol, Falkirk, Hull, Inverness, Heart of Midlothian, Birmingham and Nottingham Forest, July 26th will see Antwerp add Luton Town to their list of illustrious opponents faced on British soil. ACT as 1 keeps the tradition alive.
Antwerp Community Trust
The Great Old – Great Fans – Great City – Great Future
The ‘Antwerp Community Trust’, is a non-profit organization that wants to unite all fans behind 1 goal: building a club that puts the supporters at the heart of everything it does. In short, they want to bring back the joy of the game to De Bosuil, and restore the pride RAFC fans once had in their club. To do so, ACT AS 1 wants to empower supporters and facilitate supporter ownership of RAFC. This requires legal and negotiation skills to the sales and marketing machine needed to gather the funding for the acquisition of the shares in the club – all of which have been found within the RAFC fanbase.
ACT as 1 wants Royal Antwerp Football Club to become the very first ‘Fan Owned Club’ in the Belgian National League so they can be the trendsetting club, which started the Belgian competition more than a century ago, once again. This vision is not an unfamiliar one, as across Europe UEFA and the EU have actively supported Supporters Direct Europe, with whom ACT AS 1 is working, since 2007. We, and they, believe that anchoring clubs to their local communities is the best way of ensuring a successful and sustainable future for European football
The facts prove they are right. Precisely those European clubs that have managed to actively involve not just the fans but the entire community around the club have seen their operating budgets rise to unprecedented heights. Therefore, ACT as 1 is firmly convinced that a combination of the unique DNA of the Antwerp Fans with the community of the City of Antwerp, has all the ingredients to guarantee that the sleeping giant, The Great Old, can have a great future again. Because, Royal Antwerp is more than a Football Club.
- See more at: http://www.supporters-direct.org/news-article/antwerp-fans-can-continue-the-pre-season-tradition-of-away-games#sthash.jKBCBVe0.dpuf