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How A-League clubs can tackle waste management

It’s been widely publicised about how waste is going into landfill as we look at ways to protect our environment.

As a community, soccer clubs around the country have the ability to start making changes that will help the environment become better. What can we learn from overseas?

When you think about it, we go through a lot of waste at soccer games. Plastic cups, cans, food wrappers, bottles and more. Whether it be at the professional or local level, clubs are always dealt the task of cleaning up after matches.

Despite the recycling crisis remaining a problem across Australia, there hasn’t ever really been a system in place about ways to manage the rubbish from matches. Some clubs opt for both recycling and rubbish bins, but sometimes there are only the main general waste bins available.

We can only hope that the recycling crisis eases soon, but what can clubs and ground staff do now to prepare for a more sustainable future?

It needs to be put on the table because recently in Victoria there’s been a speculative idea to solve the current recycling issues – that is to have up to six different bins to seperate kerbside waste.

That’s a lot of sorting out to do if it comes to fruition and if it does happen clubs should start thinking about what measures they can put in place now.

While rubbish sent to landfill is inevitable, are there any lessons to be learned from overseas about how clubs and supporters can help restrict the amount of rubbish?

It comes as a report revealed that over 6 million single use cups for hot drinks were used by fans at Premier League matches throughout the course of the 2018/19 season, demonstrating that it’s not only here that waste could be reduced.

It gives a glimpse into how much waste there is, and why it’s important to address it before it’s too late.

Some changes have already been implemented in English clubs, with some trials being put to the test as they look for creative ways to limit the rubbish sent to landfill.

In a fixture at London Stadium, West Ham trialled a system where they used reusable cups along with 100 well signed collection points, which enabled them to save over 20,000 cups being sent to landfill.

Perhaps even more creative, at Twickenham Stadium they have introduced a deposit return scheme that has been a great success. The refundable deposit comes with a fan’s first drink, and basically they can either return for another drink or leave the ground with a souvenir.

As a starting point, it’s worth investigating how to be more sustainable by relying less on plastics. It comes as single-use plastics are slowly being phased out as a way to limit its damage to the environment.

This is where clubs can begin to become more creative with their resources. Instead of the general plastic that has no use afterwards, people should start thinking twice before chucking something out. Over time if clubs think with this mindset, it would make for some positive changes.

Waste management can be something that can be overlooked by local clubs, but getting fans onside and thinking about how to be more sustainable is a good move forward.

Liam Watson is the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Sky Sports extends rights to NIFL

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will be the exclusive broadcaster of Football in the region once again.

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will once again be the exclusive broadcaster of top-flight football in the region for the next three years.

The Irish League has had a long-lasting partnership with Sky over the years and the agreement will see the relationship in place until the end of the 2024/25 season.

The new agreement will see four Danske Bank Premiership fixtures and the BetMcLean League Cup final broadcast live across the UK & Ireland each season.

Northern Ireland Football Chief Executive, Gerard Lawlor:

“We sincerely thank Sky Sports for their continued backing of our game and we look forward to showcasing some of the best NI Football League matches together over the next three seasons,” he said.

“To continue to have the invaluable support of such a high-profile broadcaster shows how far our league has progressed in recent years as we bring our game to an increasing audience of loyal fans.

“The NI Football League brand is continuing to grow outside of the confines of Northern Ireland, and through Sky Sports, many football fans are now becoming more familiar with the rich history of our clubs and as well as some of the household names that have played in the Irish League.”

Sky Sports Director of Football, Gary Hughes:

“As a long-term partner to the Northern Ireland Football League, we’re delighted to extend Sky Sports’ support of the league and ensure that its entertaining action continues to be available to our customers,” he said.

“Sky Sports customers will be able to enjoy the Northern Ireland Football league alongside our ever-expanding football offering in the UK & Ireland which includes over 500 live games in 2022, from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and FA Women’s Super League as well as international action in the form of World Cup Qualifiers, and this month’s Africa Cup of Nations – placing Sky Sports as the home of live football.”

Valencia CF presents revised stadium upgrade plans

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia’s stadium, the Nuevo Mestalla, was originally under construction in 2009. However, over the last 12 years, due to financial issues and negotiation breakdowns, construction has never been completed and the situation has become known as one of the world’s most notorious stadium projects.

Murthy presented revised plans to a Council delegation led by Ribó, with the club seeking to recommence work on the stadium in order to ensure it retains the advantages granted to it under an ATE construction license given in 2012.

The plans presented to the council include a stadium capacity between 43,000 to 46,000, expandable to 60,000. The stadium would have a second ring dedicated almost exclusively to leisure and restaurant offerings, while the roof will be fitted with solar panels in an effort to drive sustainability.

Valencia Mayor, Joan Ribo:

“Initially it is proposed for a capacity comparable to that which the (Mestalla) stadium currently has (48,500), but expandable to 62,000 spectators. But I think this is not the fundamental element,” he said.

“The fundamental element is the novelty of this second ring that has seemed to me to be a remarkable element that is not in many football stadia. They propose a roof that is made of photovoltaic panels, which is an example at that level that I want to value.

“They have assured us that they have guarantees with the bank where they have the debt, which is now Caixabank.

“They have presented us with a calendar where in June 2022 the works of the sports centre would begin, in October 2022 the start of the works of the stadium and in August 2024 the inauguration of the new Mestalla. The calendar seems realistic and possible, but if it is not met, they will listen to us.”

In December, Valencia revealed plans to use funds from LaLiga’s strategic venture, with global investment fund CVC Capital Partners to help finance the construction of its new stadium. Valencia is reportedly set to receive approximately $189 million AUD from LaLiga as part of the LaLiga Impulso venture. $125 million of which is set to head to the stadium project.

Valencia CF President, Anil Murthy:

“The meeting has been very positive. After the two meetings with the Generalitat, today we have taken an important step by formally presenting the project we have to the important institution, which is the City Council,” he said.

“We have agreed on recommencing work as soon as possible, after presenting the project to the Generalitat and the City Council.

“Nobody talks about a low-cost stadium. It’s going to be a stadium that’s going to give a lot of people a lot of hope and it’s going to mean a lot of investment in the city. It’s going to be something different and something attractive.”

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