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Shelter disappointed by lack of Premier League ‘flexibility’ over kit campaign

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Celta Vigo – Pre-Season Friendly – Molineux
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Homelessness charity Shelter is disappointed by what it sees as a lack of flexibility from the Premier League over its refusal to support a Boxing Day campaign by asking clubs to change strips.

The charity had hoped top-flight sides would back its #NoHomeKit initiative by wearing their away shirts in home matches, but it is understood the clubs took a collective and unanimous decision not to do so at a meeting in London on Thursday.

Premier League rule M22.1 states the “first priority” is that the outfield players of the home club shall wear their home strip, and it was decided not to breach it.

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Osama Bhutta, Shelter’s director of campaigns, said: “We are disappointed by the Premier League’s decision not to provide any flexibility to make this as big as it can be.

“But we hope as many different teams, players and fans – from the grassroot community clubs to the very top – will still get involved in whatever way they can to help fight homelessness with us this Christmas.”

On the regulatory obstacle to making the kit change, Bhutta added: “People should have a safe home, and far too many don’t – that is the biggest rule that has been broken here.

“The football community is perfectly placed to help, given the importance of ‘home’ to the game.

“We are excited and encouraged that so many people and clubs have already pledged their support and will be wearing their away kits on Boxing Day – and we know more will follow.”

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It is understood Tottenham had been especially keen to support the initiative, and Shelter is believed to be discussing alternative ways top-flight clubs can back it.

EFL clubs Cardiff and Portsmouth are confirmed supporters of the initiative, while Bhutta said it had been “overwhelmed” by the support it had received via social media from Forest Green and Carlisle.

It is understood other clubs in the EFL and the National League will be confirmed as backers of the initiative early next week.